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Shankar & Others v. Collector/D.M. Varanasi & Others - WRIT - C No. 29861 of 1996 [2006] RD-AH 8750 (1 May 2006)


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Shankar and others.                                                 ....Petitioners


Collector/District Magistrate, Varanasi and others. Respondents


Hon'ble Bharati Sapru, J.

Heard learned counsel for the petitioner and learned Standing Counsel for the respondents.

The petitioner has filed the present petition against an order dated 1st of August, 1996 passed by the Collector under Section 15-A of the U.P. Bhudan Yagna Act 1952 by which the Collector had cancelled the grant made to the petitioner under Section 14 of the aforesaid Act.

The purpose and the object of the Act were to distribute land amongst the landless persons of the State.  The land, which was to be distributed was land which had been either declared excess or land which was donated by persons to be distributed amongst the under privileged classes.

It is the petitioner's contention that the petitioner was also one such under privileged person who was granted a plot in village Ahirani Pargana Kolasala, District Varanasi.   Some lands in this village have been given by the zamindars for distribution to the poor.  The grant had been made to the petitioner under Section 14 of the Act in 1982 and the name of the petitioner was also mutated on 9th of August, 1982.  One Smt. Kewala  moved an application on 18.2.84 under Section 15 A for the cancellation of the grant made in favour of the petitioner claiming that the petitioner was not an eligible person.  

It was in this proceeding that the petitioner's grant has been cancelled by the impugned order dated 1st of August, 1996.  The petitioner states in paragraph-9 of the writ petition that upon a reading of the impugned order, the petitioner came to know for the first time that a report had been submitted by a Naib Tahsildar on 8.2.85 and it was on the basis of this exparte report dated 8.2.85 that the impugned order had been passed.  

It is the petitioner's contention that the petitioner was given no opportunity to rebut the findings arrived at in the report of the Naib Tahsildar and, therefore, the petitioner argues that the decision reached on the basis of this report has caused severe prejudices to the petitioner.  The contentions as raised by the petitioner in paragraph-9,10 and 11 of the writ petition are not specifically or categorically denied by the answering  respondents Smt. Kewala.  The order of cancellation has not appeared in the revised list.

In view of the unrebutted averments made by the petitioner in paragraph 9,10 and 11 of the writ petition, in my opinion, it would be appropriate that this matter be sent back to the authority below who shall give the petitioner an opportunity to rebut the exparte report of the Naib Tahasildar.  The petitioner shall be allowed an opportunity by the Collector to rebut the report of the Naib Tahsildar and allow him to produce such evidence as may be so done in accordance with law.  

In the end result, the impugned order dated 1.8.96 is set aside.  The matter is remanded back to the Collector for fresh consideration after allowing the parties a fresh opportunity of hearing.  The parties shall maintain status quo for a period of six months.  It is expected that within this period of six months of production of a certified copy of this order, the Collector shall pass orders in accordance with law.  

The petition is allowed.  There will be no order as to costs.

Dated : 1/5/06




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