Heard Mr. Arun Kumar, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and Mr. Ashok Kumar Singh, learned A.C. to S.C. (L&C)-I.
2. Learned counsel for the petitioner is directed to implead the Additional Collector, Ramgarh as party-respondent no.5 in this writ petition, in course of the day.
3. The petitioner has preferred this writ petition for a direction to the respondents to issue rent receipt in the name of the petitioner in respect to the land situated at Khata No. 86, Plot No. 12, Mouza-Hehel, Thana No. 58, P.S. Patratu, District-Ramgarh measuring 2 acres.
4. It is the case of the petitioner that the land situated at Khata No. 86, Plot No. 12, Mouza-Hehel, Thana No. 58, P.S. Patratu, District-Ramgarh measuring 2.50 acres was settled in the name of Sk. Madin Mian by the Manager of Ramgarh Ward State Hazaribagh vide Hukumnama dated 18.12.1934 and since then Sk. Madin Mian had been in possession of the land and his name was also mutated in the Register-II in the year 1954-55. The rent receipts were also issued in the name of Sk. Madin Mian since the year 1954-55. The rent receipt of the year 1984-85 is annexed at Annexure-1 to this writ petition. After the death of Sk. Madin Mian, during the present survey and settlement process, the State authority has issued preliminary Khatian in which, sons of Sk. Madin Mian have been shown in possession over the aforesaid land. Thereafter, vide Registered Deed No. 3634 dated 13.12.2004, the petitioner has purchased the land situated at Khata No. 86, Plot No. 12, Mouza-Hehel, Thana No. 58, P.S. Patratu, District-Ramgarh measuring 2 acres from the legal heirs of late Sk. Madin Mian and after the purchase, the petitioner is in possession over the aforesaid land. Thereafter, all of a sudden the Circle Officer, Patratu has initiated a suo motu proceeding to cancel the mutation running in the name of Sk. Madin Mian for the aforesaid land and he referred the matter to the Sub-Divisional Officer, Ramgarh for further order. The Sub-Divisional Officer, Ramgarh vide order dated 26.08.2007 has rejected the recommendation made by the Circle Officer, Patratu and held that mutation running in the name of Sk. Madin Mian for the aforesaid land is valid. The order passed by the Sub-Divisional Officer, Ramgarh dated 26.08.2007 is annexed at Annexure-3 to this writ petition. Thereafter, the petitioner applied for mutation of the aforesaid land in his name and the same was allowed by the Circle Officer, Patratu and correction slip dated 21.07.2011 was issued. The said correction slip is annexed at Annexure-4 to this writ petition. After getting correction slip, the petitioner went to deposit the rent for the aforesaid land, which was not accepted and the rent receipt has not been issued, that is why the petitioner has filed this writ petition.
5. Mr. Arun Kumar, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner submits that the petitioner is in possession over the land in question and by the order contained in Annexure-3, the zamabandi has been confirmed in favour of the petitioner and the same is not challenged by the State authority. He further submits that the State authority needs to consider the possession only in view of the well settled principles in this regard. He further submits that his case is well covered by the judgment rendered by this Court in the case of Islam Ansari v. The State of Jharkhand & Ors. reported in 2012 (3) JLJR 80.
6. Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the said judgment are quoted herein below:
"8. According to the petitioner, the land, in question, was Gairmajarua Malik and his grand father had acquired the same by virtue of settlement (Annexure 3) from the ex. landlord by executing Kabuliat (Annexure 2) followed by rent receipts (Annexure 4 series). After vesting of Zamindari under the provisions of Bihar Land Reforms Act, 1950, the State recognized the petitioner's father as tenant in respect of the said land and his name was entered in Register-II. The State, accordingly, issued rent receipts in respect of the said land. After death of the petitioner's father, the petitioner approached the revenue authority and offered to pay rent, but the same was refused. The said facts have not been disputed by the State respondents in their counter affidavit. It has also not been disputed that there is no contrary order of any competent court of law, setting aside the Jamabandi running in favour of the petitioner's father. Admittedly, no notice was issued and no proceeding was initiated against the petitioner. He was not given any opportunity of hearing before refusing to accept rent and granting rent receipts.
9. It has been repeatedly held that Jamabandi created in favour of a raiyat confers valuable right and the same cannot be interfered with or taken away lightly, arbitrarily and illegally. If there is any defect in creation of Jamabandi or if the Jamabandi is wrongly opened, the State can challenge the same in a legal proceeding before the competent court of law. They cannot simply refuse to accept rent and grant rent receipts."
7. Per contra, learned counsel appearing for the respondent-State submits that the land in question is a gair majarua land (a Government land). The State Government has directed not to issue rent receipt and to inquire illegal zamabandi of Government land. He further submits that the land in question is a forest land and the Sub-Divisional Officer, Ramgarh has passed the order beyond his jurisdiction. The Sub-Divisional Officer was not competent authority to pass such order. He also submits that he was required to refer the matter to the Additional Collector, but he passed the final order. He further submits that first rent receipt of alleged zamabandidar not found entered in Bhandar Panji, but has been confirmed and the name of alleged zamabandi established only in Register-II with collusion of Halka Karamchari and, therefore, no rent receipt has been issued. He further submits that the nature of the land is forest and the same cannot be changed without prior permission of the Central Government.
8. Having heard learned counsel for the parties, this Court finds that there is dispute with regard to nature of the land. However, the order at Annexure-3 is in favour of the petitioner, whereby, the Sub-Divisional Officer, Ramgarh has confirmed the zamabandi in spite of the recommendation made by the Circle Officer,
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Patratu. The petitioner is in possession and this fact has not been denied by the respondents in their counter affidavits. In view of the judgment rendered in the case of Islam Ansari v. The State of Jharkhand & Ors. (supra), the matter requires to be considered by the competent authority and pass an appropriate order. Accordingly, this matter is remitted back to the Additional Collector, Ramgarh. The Additional Collector, Ramgarh is directed to examine entire aspects of the matter, as observed by this Court and after providing opportunity of hearing to the petitioner, pass an appropriate order. 9. With the aforesaid observations and directions, this writ petition stands allowed and disposed of.