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Kerala High Court directs land revenue officer to consider application for land assignment

The petitioner, Vijayakumar K., who is in possession and enjoyment of 3.92 acres of land of Elappara Village. He submitted an application dated 12.08.2015, for assignment of land before the Land Assignment Officer, Peermade.

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The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Commissioner for Land Revenue to consider and pass appropriate orders on the revision petition filed by the petitioner under sub-rule (8) of Rule 21 of the Kerala Land Assignment Rules within two months.

The petitioner, Vijayakumar K., who is in possession and enjoyment of 3.92 acres of land of Elappara Village. He submitted an application dated 12.08.2015, for assignment of land before the Land Assignment Officer, Peermade. The application was rejected by order dated 21.10.2019 of the Special Tahsildar, Peermade. Feeling aggrieved by the order, the petitioner filed appeal before the Revenue Divisional Officer, under sub-rule (1) of Rule 21, which also ended in dismissal by order dated 08.01.2021. Feeling aggrieved , the petitioner moved revision before the Commissioner of Land Revenue, invoking the provisions under sub-rule (8) of Rule 21 of the Kerala Land Assignment Rules, which is now pending under consideration.

The Petitioner has approached the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking a writ of mandamus commanding the Commissioner for Land Revenue to consider and pass orders on revision petition dated 15.02.2021 filed under sub-rule (8) of Rule 21 of the Kerala Land Assignment Rules within a time limit to be fixed by the High Court, with a further direction to keep in abeyance the eviction proceedings.

A Single Bench of Justice Anil K.Narendran while considering the matter , held that it is for the revisional authority to take an appropriate decision on that revision, after affording the petitioner a reasonable opportunity of being heard. Seeking stay of further proceedings pursuant to the order impugned in the revision petition, the petitioner has to file an application before the revisional authority.

In such circumstances, the Court Disposed the Petition with the direction to the Commissioner for Land Revenue to consider and pass appropriate orders on revision petition filed by the petitioner under sub-rule (8) of Rule 21 of the Kerala Land Assignment Rules, as expeditiously as possible, at any rate, within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this judgment.

The Court while concluding the Judgement , cited the Judgement of the Supreme Court in State of U.P. v. Harish Chandra [(1996) 9 SCC 309]in which the Apex Court held that no mandamus can be issued to direct the Government to refrain from enforcing the provisions of law or to do something which is contrary to law.

Moreover, in Bhaskara Rao A.B. v. CBI [(2011) 10 SCC 259] the Apex Court reiterated that, generally, no Court has competence to issue a direction contrary to law nor can the Court direct an authority to act in contravention of the statutory provisions. The courts are meant to enforce the rule of law and not to pass the orders or directions which are contrary to what has been injected by law.

In light of those Judgements the Court further directs the Commissioner for Land Revenue to take an appropriate decision in the matter, strictly in accordance with law, taking note of the relevant statutory provisions and also the law on the point.

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