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Allahabad High Court directs principal secretary to take disciplinary action against officials who interfere in legal matters

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The Allahabad High Court has directed the Principal Secretary to take disciplinary action against the officials who interfere with the land dispute to be settled by the Civil Court without any legal authority.

The Division Bench of Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Sadhna Rani Thakur passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Shobh Nath and 6 others.

In this case, the petitioners herein claim to be co-tenure holders of Gata area 0.3030 hectare and claim that their names are recorded in the revenue records. The State respondents authorities had illegally entered into private property of the petitioners on an application moved by the private respondents.

The copy of the application moved by the private respondents has been appended to the paper book to demonstrate that the private respondents are claiming right over the property in question and stating that the petitioners herein are creating hindrance in their right to way by illegal means.

It is stated that on the said application, the Sub Divisional Officer, Handia has sought for the report of the Lekhpal and by passing an order dated 09.06.2022 has directed the Station House Officer of the police station to take action against the persons who are interfering in the egress and ingress of the private respondents i.e the alleged Rasta claimed by them.

The Gram Pradhan of the village concerned has also been impleaded by name to assert that the present Gram Pradhan is also acting at the instance of the private respondents for dispossessing the petitioners from their private property.

The Court observed that on the application dated 30.05.2022 moved by the private respondents, the report dated 08.06.2022 was submitted by the Lekhpal wherein it was noted that the applicants therein i.e private respondents are co-tenure holders of Gata area 0.3030 hectare and there is a dispute between private persons namely the applicants and the petitioners herein about making of the Kharanja road. The applicants are ready to give their property for construction of the Kharanja road. Though there is no entry of the chak marg over the property in question in the revenue records, the plot in question was being used for years together by the villagers and the applicants as Rasta. The dispute is about Bhumidhari plot and Rasta as claimed by the applicants.

The Court noted that,

On the said report, the Sub Divisional Officer, Handia had passed the order dated 09.06.2022 issuing direction to the Station House Officer, Sarai Mamrez to initiate action against the persons who are obstructing the Rasta.

A perusal of the records categorically indicates that the property in question which was claimed as Rasta by the private respondents was a private property of which they are only co-tenure holders and the dispute was between the private persons about their right to the property in question and its use.

In the said scenario, in view of the categorical statement of the applicants and the report of the Lekhpal, there was no occasion for the Sub Divisional Officer, Handia to pass the order issuing direction to the Station House Officer concerned to enter into the private property by deciding the private dispute, which is absolutely the jurisdiction of the civil court.

In view of said fact, taking strong exception of the order passed by the Sub Divisional Officer, the Court directed the District Magistrate, Prayagraj to make an enquiry as to how and in what circumstances, the order dated 09.06.2022 was passed by the Sub Divisional Officer, Handia and under which authority the police personnel of the police station Sarai Mamrez had visited the property in question. The explanation of the Sub Divisional Officer, Handia and the Station House Officer of the police station concerned be obtained by the District Magistrate, Prayagraj and the enquiry be completed in the light of the contents of the application dated 30.05.2022 submitted by the private respondents before the Sub Divisional Officer, Handia.

It may not be out of place to note that the Court in Writ petition (Shree Energy Developers Pvt Ltd Vs State Of U.P And Others), had issued direction to the Principal Secretary, Government of U.P to take corrective measure to rectify the mistakes being committed by the administrative authorities by entering into the private disputes relating to the immovable properties, the Court said.

The Court observed that from time and again, the Court had directed the administrative authorities not to enter into the private dispute relating to immovable property and relegate the parties to approach the competent civil court. It seems that the orders passed by the court have not been looked into.

“The Principal Secretary, Government of U.P is directed to take disciplinary action against such erring officials who are creating ruckus in the State by passing orders in such a manner.

The District Magistrate, Prayagraj is required to take note of the said direction issued by the Court in making the enquiry as directed above and submit his report within a period of three weeks”, the Court ordered.

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