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Vipul Mohan Das v. D.D.C. - WRIT - B No. - 21520 of 1989  RD-AH 16099 (27 September 2007)
HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 21520 of 1989
Vipul Mohan Das
Deputy Director of Consolidation and others
Hon'ble Krishna Murari, J.
Heard learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Standing Counsel appearing for the respondents.
Dispute relates to plot no. 13 situate in village Laxmipur, Tehsil Mahrajganj, District Gorakhpur.
The grand mother of the petitioner Smt. Kunti Devi filed Suit No. 69 of 1958 seeking declaration and permanent injunction in respect of plot in dispute impleading respondents no. 2 and 4 as defendants. The said suit was decreed by the Civil Judge, Gorakhpur. Appeal filed by respondents against the said judgment and decree was dismissed by the District Judge, Gorakhpur vide order dated 28.10.1971. It has been alleged that the said judgment had become final inter-se between the parties. During consolidation operation, time barred objection under Section 9 of the U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Act was filed by the petitioner's grand mother along with section 5 application. It was pleaded that she was an old lady permanently residing in city of Gorakhpur and the plot in dispute is situate in village which is at a distance of about 90 Kms. as such she could not know of the commencement of the consolidation operations and as such objection could not be filed within time. It was further pleaded that she came to know about the consolidation operations when she visited village in July, 1979 and has filed objection. Consolidation Officer vide order dated 7.11.1979 condoned the delay in filing the objection. Respondent no. 3 - Forest Department went up in revision. Deputy Director of Consolidation vide judgment and order dated 22.4.1981 allowed the same which was challenged before this Court in Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 62151 of 1981. The said writ petition was allowed vide judgment and order dated 31.8.1987 and the case was remanded back to the Deputy Director of Consolidation to decide the revision afresh. Deputy Director of Consolidation vide impugned order dated 28.9.1989 has again allowed the revision and set aside the order of Consolidation Officer condoning the delay and rejected the objection as barred by time. Aggrieved, petitioner has approached this Court.
It has been urged by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the facts mentioned in the application seeking condonation of delay constituted good ground for condoning the delay and the Deputy Director of Consolidation has wrongly and illegally held the same to be insufficient. It has further been urged that only reason for rejecting the delay condonation application was that the grand mother of the petitioner was a literate lady and had been contesting the proceedings in respect of the land in dispute as such it cannot be presumed that she could not have knowledge of the consolidation proceedings.
In reply, learned Standing Counsel has tried to justify the impugned order.
I have considered the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the parties and perused the record.
Explanation submitted for filing objection with delay was that she was an old lady living in city of Gorakhpur which is at a distance of about 90 Kms. from village where the land in dispute is situate and since she did not visit the village she could not know the consolidation proceedings. There is nothing on record to rebut the allegation made by her. Deputy Director of Consolidation refused to condone the delay only on the ground that grand mother of the petitioner was a literate lady as such it cannot be presumed that she was not having knowledge of the consolidation operations in the village. Merely because she was a literate lady, it cannot be presumed that she would have knowledge about consolidation proceedings in the village situate at a distance of 90 Kms. even though she may not have visited place. A literate person cannot be presumed to have notice and knowledge of everything. The view taken by the Deputy Director of Consolidation for refusing to condone the delay is patently erroneous and cannot be sustained. Grounds mentioned in the application under section 5 seeking condonation of delay, in the opinion of this Court, constituted sufficient ground to condone the delay and Consolidation Officer rightly allowed the said application. However, Deputy Director of Consolidation has wrongly and illegally interfered in the said order totally on irrelevant consideration.
In view of the aforesaid discussions, impugned order dated 28.9.1989 passed by the Deputy Director of Consolidation cannot be sustained and is hereby quashed. The writ petition stands allowed and the matter is remanded back to the Consolidation Officer with a direction to decide the objection on merits in accordance with law as expeditiously as possible preferable within a period of one year from the date of production of a certified copy of this order before.
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