Wednesday, December 7, 2022

No construction on land in Beroo village till Board of Revenue decides on revision: Rajasthan High Court

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The Rajasthan High Court has directed that till the revision pending before the Board of Revenue is decided, no construction shall be raised on the land in question in Beroo village.

The Division Bench of Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Kuldeep Mathur disposed of a PIL assailing the allotment order dated 23.05.2003 issued by the District Collector-cum-District Magistrate allotting 4 Bighas land to Rajkiya Shiksha Karmi Vidyalaya’ for establishing a school in the village Beroo.

The grievance, which has been raised by the petitioners, is based on the foundation that allotment has been made from land categorized as ‘Gair Mumkin Aagor’ (catchment area) of the pond of Village Beroo and as such, the allotment of the land in question is dehors to the rules and contrary to the judgment of this Court in the case of Abdul Rehman Vs. Stateof Rajasthan & Ors., reported in 2004 (4) WLC (Raj.) 435.Though the allotment was made in the year 2003, but suddenly,after 17 years, the Tehsildar has passed an order dated16.07.2020 for demarcating the land in question whereupon, the instant  petition came to be filed.

It is observed by the Bench that the issues as to whether the land in question was originally recorded as ‘Gair Mumkin Aagor’; whether or not it acts as a catchment area for the village pond; and whether the allotment made for establishment of a school i.e. in the interest of public at large, are all under consideration of the Board of Revenue in the pending revision which was filed against the order dated 20.05.2005 passed by the Revenue Appellate Authority. 

The Court noted that the allotment of the land in question was made to the Education Department but the petitioners have  not impleaded the Department as party respondent in the petition.
The revision, referred to supra, pending before the Board Of Revenue involves various disputed questions of facts and thus,the High  Court’s extraordinary writ jurisdiction, cannot be invoked so as to enter into such disputed questions of facts. The Court  reiterated that in a subsequent revenue proceeding ,  the Revenue Appellate Authority,passed a restraint order on construction activities sought to be taken on the land in question while accepting the appeal under Section 225 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act by order dated 21.12.2020. In a revision filed against the said order, the Board of Revenue has modified the said order and while directing the parties to maintain status quo, the trial court has been directed to decide the original application under Section 212 of the Land Revenue Act within two months. Apparently thus, the competent revenue courts are seized of the issues adverted to in the petition , observed the Bench.

Considering the pleadings of the parties, the Bench held that it cannot be doubted that the  petition involves seriously disputed questions of facts. “While exercising the high prerogative writ jurisdiction, the High  Court cannot enter into and decide such disputed questions of facts and the appropriate forum to adjudicate such issues would be the revenue court/s concerned.”

Otherwise also, the grievances raised by the petitioners in the petition are unfounded at this moment because even the Board of Revenue, in the order dated 25.03.2021, has directed the parties to maintain status quo over the land in question till disposal of the application under Section 212 of the Land Revenue Act. If at all, the petitioners want  to be heard in those proceedings, they can move an application for impleadment which would be considered as per law, held by the High Court. 
In any event, keeping in view the ratio of the High  Court’s Judgment in the cases of Ultra Tech Cement Ltd. (supra) and Parma Nand Kumawat (supra), the Court is not inclined to exercise its public interest jurisdiction so as to interfere in the matter. At the same time, the Board of Revenue, Ajmer is requested to expedite the decision of the Revision . However, for the sake of maintaining equities and in order to prevent further complications, it is directed by the High Court  that till the revision pending before the Board of Revenue is decided, no construction shall be raised on the land in question, ordered by the High Court.

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