At, High Court of Judicature at Allahabad
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE RAM SURAT RAM (MAURYA)
For the Appellant: S.S. Sharma, P.K. Singh, Advocates. For the Respondents: A.K. Singh, Advocate.
Ram Surat Ram (Maurya), J.
1. Heard Sri S.S. Sharma for the petitioner and Sri A.K. Singh for the respondents. The writ petition has been filed against the order of the Consolidation Officer dated 4.7.2012 by which the application for condonation of delay of about 12 years in filing objection u/s 9-A of U.P. Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1953 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act") has been rejected and the order of the Deputy Director of Consolidation dated 4.1.2014/21.1.2014 dismissing the revision of the petitioner filed against the aforesaid order.
2. The dispute related to plot No. 162/13 (area 2.20 acre) and 162/15 (area 3.06 acre) of village Ramana, Pargana Dehat Amanat, district Varanasi. The notification u/s 9 of the Act took place on 15.6.1996 and notification u/s 20 of the Act took place on 4.3.1999. The chaks were confirmed in June, 2000 and delivery of possession over new chaks have taken place upto year 2000. The petitioner filed an objection along with an application for delay condonation on 11.4.2008. In the objection it has been stated that the petitioner is a rustic villager and it is during the preparation of case of Haridas v. Mohan on 9.4.2008, it came to the notice of the petitioner that the land in dispute was not recorded in his name. Thereafter he made enquiries and came to know about the fact that the land in dispute was not recorded in his name and then objection was filed on 11.4.2008. The matter has been considered by the Consolidation Officer, who found that the village was notified on 15.6.1996 u/s 9 of the Act and the petitioner has been litigating several litigations before the consolidation Courts as such his allegation that he did not have knowledge about the entry could not be believed. On this finding the application for condonation of delay has been rejected by the order dated 4.7.2012 and consequently objection was dismissed as time barred.
3. The petitioner filed a revision against the aforesaid order. The revision was heard by the Deputy Director of Consolidation. The Deputy Director of Consolidation found that the entire area of 5.26 of plot No. 162 was recorded in the name of the father of the petitioner in khatauni of 1360-1362 fasli in sub-plot 13 and sub plot 15. Same area was recorded in his name in sub plots 18, 21, 22 and 23 of plot No. 162. The petitioner has sold 1.10 acre of land of the said plot and in basic consolidation record an area of 4.16 acre was recorded in his name. He further found that plot No. 162 was a very big plot and due to time to time selling by owners of the subdivisions of it the sub-divisions of this plot used to vary. However, area of the portion of which the petitioner was the owner remained intact upto basic year and the petitioner has no prima facie case. He further found that at the time of notification u/s 9 of the Act CH Form 5 is served upon a tenure holder giving details of his original holding and there is no reason to believe the submission of the petitioner that he had no knowledge. On this ground the revision was dismissed. Hence this writ petition has been filed.
4. The Counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner has stated that the land in dispute was recorded in the name of the father of the petitioner in 1360-1362 fasli khatauni. The land in dispute remained throughout in the possession of the father of the petitioner and after his death the petitioner has been in possession over it. Even after carvation of chaks the petitioner remained in possession of the land in dispute and could not know about the illegality committed in basic consolidation record and it is only while preparing the case of Haridas v. Mohan, Counsel examined the entire record and found that these two plots were not recorded in the name of the petitioner as such the petitioner filed an objection along with a delay condonation application and in the circumstances the delay was liable to be condoned. He relied upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in N. Balakrishnan Vs. M. Krishnamurthy, and judgments of this Court in Banarasi v. Deputy Director of Consolidation, Azamgarh and others, 2009 (107) RD 224 and Chandra Pal and another v. State of U.P. through Principal Secretary Revenue, U.P., Lucknow and others, 2012 (117) RD 160 in which the Supreme Court as well as this Court have consistently taken the view that while condoning the delay the authorities were required to take a liberal view so as to serve the ends of justice and not to defeat it. Accordingly, the consolidation authorities were required to take a liberal view and should have condoned the delay.
5. I have considered the arguments of the Counsel for the pa ties and examined the record.
6. The Supreme Court in Shanti Prasad Gupta v. Deputy Director of Consolidation, Camp at Meerut and others, 1984 RD 382 has held that the matter relating to condonation of delay is the matter relating to discretion of the original Court. Once the discretion has been exercised by the original Court either condoning the delay or refusing to condone the delay then the higher Courts have no jurisdiction to interfere in the discretion so exercised unless it is found that the discretion has been wrongly exercised. In the case, which has been relied by the Counsel for the petitioner i.e. N. Balakrishnan (supra), also the Trial Court has condoned delay but the Revisional Court while exercising revisional jurisdiction interfered in the discretion of the Trial Court therefore, the Supreme Court has interfered in the matter.
7. The Supreme Court in Lanka Venkateswarlu (D) by L.Rs. Vs. State of A.P. and Others, and Maniben Devraj Shah Vs. Municipal Corporation of Brihan Mumbai, has held that Limitation Act is a substantial law and should be interpreted in a meaningful manner and the delay cannot be condoned without sufficient cause. In this case the petitioner has merely stated that while preparing the case Haridas v. Mohan he came to know that the land in dispute, which was earlier recorded in the name of the father of the petitioner, was not recorded in basic consolidation record then he came to know about this fact. The petitioner has deliberately concealed the material facts, whether CH Form No. 5 was served on him or not, what was the total area owned by him and what was recorded in CH Form 5 and what was the area of the chak allotted to him. At the same time the petitioner has deliberately concealed that what was the land sold by him. Concealing all these material facts, on the basis of vague allegation he has claimed that he remained in possession over the land in dispute. The consolidation authorities found that the village was notified u/s 20 of the Act on 4.3.1999 and chaks were confirmed. Thereafter delivery of possession of the chaks in the village took place in the year 2000. The proviso to section 28 of the Act provides presumption of possession of the persons in whose names the chaks are carved out. Thus, after all
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otment of the land in dispute in the chaks of the other persons, the petitioner cannot remain in possession on the spot. The presumption of law can be rebutted by the petitioner and the petitioner failed to prove that even after delivery of possession he remained in possession over the land in dispute. Entirely false allegation has been made for condonation of delay and delay condonation application has been rightly rejected by the Courts below. In view of the judgment in Santi Prasad Gupta (supra) and in view of the fact that both the Courts below have recorded concurrent findings of fact that there is no sufficient cause for condoning the delay, this Court has no jurisdiction to interfere in the matter. The writ petition has no merit and it is dismissed.