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Velusamy & Others v/s The District Revenue Officer, Coimbatore & Others


    W.P. No. 4441 of 2009 & M.P. No. 1 of 2009

    Decided On, 20 July 2018

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE SUBRAMONIUM PRASAD

    For the Petitioner: Thirumandhiram for M/s. R.T. Duraisamy, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 & R2, Sricharan Rangarajan, Additional Government Pleader.



Judgment Text

(Prayer: Writ Petition has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking a Writ of Ceriorarified Mandamus, to call for the records from the first respondent with reference to order dated 16.12.2008 passed by him in Na.Ka.No.25934/2008/m 2 and quash the same in so far as it went against the petitioners and directing the respondents 1 and 2 to issue patta infavour of petitioners in S.F.No.575/1 and 575/2 Allikaranpalayam Village, Oddarpalayam, Avinashi Taluk, Coimbatore District.)

1. The instant writ petition has been filed for a writ of certiorarified mandamus calling for the records from District Revenue Officer with reference to order dated 16.12.2008 passed by him in Na.Ka.25934/2008/C2 and quash the same and further direct the District Revenue Officer, Coimbatore and Revenue Divisional Officer, Tiruppur to issue patta in favaour of the petitioner for S.F.No.575/1 and 575/2 Allikaranpalayam Village, Odar Palayam post, Avinasi Taluk, Coimbatore.

2. It is the case of the petitioners that S.F.No.575/1 and 575/2 Allikaranpalayam Village, Ottarpalayam post, Avinashi Taluk, Coimbatore is a land going from East to West and was being used by the petitioners as a pathway to reach their lands and houses. On objections to declare the land as a public pathway, the Revenue Divisional Officer inspected the property along with the Village Administrative Officer and pass the following order:-

Based on the above cited information, it has come to light that in SF 575/2 about 54 sq.mtr is registered and given natham patta to Thiru. Velusamy s/o Marappa Gounder and SF No.575/1 is classified as pathway. The land owners of SF No.575/2, >, 5, 6 were jointly uses as pathway. It is hereby ordered that, joint pathway. In Ottarpalayam Village SF No.244 patta land, through which the general public used it as a common pathway for several years should not been interrupted by the land owner.

As per the above order, Tahsildar, Avinasi Taluk is directed to make the changes in Village and Taluk records within 15 days of the receipt of this order.

3. This order was not challenged and the land was being used as a pathway only by the petitioners. It is stated that the Revenue Divisional Officer by an order dated 08.05.2008 in Na. Ka. 9049/2002/A2 modified this earlier order dated 08.05.2008 and pass the following order:-

Thiru A.K.Nataraj, Thiru. Arumugam, and Thiru. Ramasamy represented on behalf of the dwellers of Otterpalayam Village, Avinashi Taluk and requested to cancel the patta and to clean the bushes occupied in SF.No.575/1, which is mentioned as joint track and requested for assessing the land for common track. As enquiry regarding this matter held in the office and as filed inspected also made on it.

Based on the enquiry conducted, the proposed land SF. No.575/1 is mentioned as track in Village accounts. In the proceedings ref. 1st cited in an ordered issued, that the SF.No.575/2,3,4,5 and 6 are pata lands and it is mentioned as joint track for these patta land holders. It is also ordered that SF.No.575/1 is been recorded as natham poromboke and few were allowed to used their land as joint track and not allowed to take possession of it.

Hereby it is ordered that the proposed land which is considered as joint track is cancelled and ordered as common track.

The Tahsildar, Avinashi is her by directed to make changes in Village in Taluk account and also make eviction in the proposal land is required.

4. This order was challenged in appeal by the petitioners before the District Revenue Officer Coimbatore, District Revenue Officer Coimbatore, found the inconsistency in the two orders and by the order impugned herein observed as under:-

On scrutinizing the facts submitted by both parties, it is hereby ordered that the, proceedings of the RDO, Tiruppur in K.Dis.2621/2002/a2 dated 08.05.2002 and 9049/2002/a2 dated 08.05.2008 has two different judgment and that is not acceptable and considered valid. RDO, Tiruppur is directed to inspect and enquire both parties with equal chances given for each of them during the process and issue the order on merit.

5. This order of the District Revenue Officer Coimbatore dated 16.12.2008 in ref. no.25934/2008/C2 is assailed in this writ petition stating that the order dated 08.05.2002 passed by the then Revenue Divisional Officer ought to not have been set aside in the absence of any appeal or without any valid reasons. It is contented the writ petition that no purpose would be served in remanding the matter back to the Revenue Divisional Officer who has already made up his mind vide passing order dated 08.05.2008.

6. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned counsel appearing for the State.

7. is the submission of the petitioner that in the absence of any challenge against the order dated 08.05.2002 passed by the then Revenue Divisional Officer, Tiruppur in K.Dis.2621/2002/A2 the Revenue Divisional Officer could not have set aside the same. It is therefore submitted that the District Revenue Officer has exceeded his jurisdiction in passing the impugned order. It was also submitted that there was no material with the Revenue Divisional Officer, Tiruppur to change the record from 'joint track' to be used only by the petitioner to 'common track' to be used by everybody. On the other hand, the learned counsel for the State would content that in the light of two conflicting orders the District Revenue Officer had no other option but to order for a fresh enquiry by the Revenue Divisional Officer after giving equal chance to both sides.

8. Section 12 and 13 of the patta pass book Act 1986 reads as under:-

Section 12:- Appeal- Any person aggrieved by an order made by the Tahsildar under this Act may, within such period as may be prescribed appeal to such authority as may be prescribed and the decision of such authority on such appeal shall subject to the provisions of section 13, be final.

Section 13:- Revision- Any officer of the Revenue Department not below the rank of District Revenue Officer authorised by the Government, by notification, in this behalf for such area as may be specified in the notification, may of his own motion or on the application of a party call for and examined the records of any Tahsildar or appellate authority within his jurisdiction in respect of any proceeding under this Act and pass such orders as he may think fit:

Provided that no such order prejudicial to any person shall be made unless he has been given a reasonable opportunity of making his representation.

9. The record shows two conflicting orders of the Revenue Divisional Officer, Tiruppur one dated 08.05.2002 and the other dated 08.05.2008. Both the orders are based on enquiry and field inspection. The order dated 08.05.2008 was challenged before the Revenue Divisional Officer by the penalty. The District Revenue Officer, while examining the appeal had also to deal with the order dated 08.05.2002 passed by another Revenue Divisional Officer, Tiruppur regarding the same piece of land. The order dated 08.05.2002 holds that the land must be classified as joint pathway where as order dated 08.05.2002 holds that the land should be described as common pathway.

10. Section 13 of the patta pass book Act gives the power of revision to an Officer not below District Revenue Officer to call and examine the records of any Tahsildar or Appellate Authority in respect of any proceedings under the patta pass book Act, 1986 and pass such orders as he may think fit. The Tahsildar issues patta pass book to every owner in respect of land owned by him. Modifications of entries in patta pass book are made under Section 10. The District Revenue Officer is the Revisional authority against any order passed by the Revenue Divisional Officer. The District Revenue Officer was t

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herefore competent to call for the records of the proceedings dated 08.05.2002 passed by the Revenue Divisional Officer, in Ka.Dis.2621/2002/A2 and examine the same. 11. A perusal of the order of the District Revenue Officer shows that being confronted with the two conflicting and contradictory orders passed the District Revenue Officer, he could have either examined the correctness of both the orders himself or could have directed the Revenue Divisional Officer, to once again inspect and pass orders after giving chance to both the sides. The District Revenue Officer chose to follow the latter option. The order dated 16.12.2008 of the District Revenue Officer cannot be said to be perverse which would call for interference under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The writ petition is dismissed. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petition is closed.
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