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Kehri Singh And Others v. State Of U.P. & Others - WRIT - C No. 26868 of 2001  RD-AH 7196 (19 April 2007)
(Judgment reserved on 12.4.2007)
(Judgment delivered on 19.4.2007)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.26868 of 2001
Kehri Singh and 20 others vs. State of U.P. through Collector, Mathura and others
Heard learned counsel for the parties. The prayer in both the writ petitions is for issuing a writ of mandamus commanding the respondents not to evict the petitioners from the land allotted to them without following the procedure provided under the Act (U.P.Z.A.&L.R. Act). The following are the respondents in the writ petition:
1. The State of U.P. through Collector, Mathura
2. The Sub Divisional Officer, Mant, District Mathura
3. The Tehsildar Mant, District Mathura
4. Gaon Sabha village and Mauja Mant Raja, Tahsil and Pargana Mant, District Mathura through its Pradhan
All the petitioners in both the writ petitions claimed to be allottees of different portions of land of different plots from the Land Management Committee. It has further been stated in both the writ petitions that all the petitioners were granted Asami pattas in the year 1967. Most of the petitioners are stated to have been allotted an area of 1.2 hectares each. However, it is stated that some petitioners were allotted different areas. It has also been alleged that till 2000 petitioners paid the rent however, thereafter it was not accepted by the authorities.
It has further been stated that Lekhpal submitted a report to Tehsildar on 4.12.2000 to the effect that petitioners had not paid the rent hence their allotment be cancelled and the said report was approved by Supervisor, Kanoongo Rajasva Nirikshak on 20.12.2000 and thereafter matter was referred by Tehsildar to Sub Divisional Officer. It has further been alleged that on 3.7.2001 which was a Tehsil Diwas, Sub Divisional Officer directed the Tehsildar to take appropriate action against the petitioners including the action of dispossession of petitioners.
Under Rule 176-A of the Rules framed under U.P.Z.A.&L.R. Act maximum period of Asami patta can be five years. Even though this rule was added with effect from 1.11.1975 however, it has been held in Ahmad Zamil vs. Additional Commissioner 2004 (1) A.W.C. 122 that the said Rule was applicable even to the asami leases granted prior to 1.11.1975. However, in the said authority it has also been held that the lessees/asami patta holders are entitled to hearing before eviction.
The other argument of learned counsel for the petitioners is that petitioners can be evicted only through suit filed by the Gaon Sabha under Section 202 of U.P.Z.A.&L.R. Act. However, in this regard reference may be made to an authority of this court reported in Hari Ram vs. Collector 2004 (97) R.D. 360. In the said authority it has been held that suit under Section 202 of U.P.Z.A.&L.R. Act is not the only provision to evict unauthorised occupant of Gaon Sabha land/asami patta holder after expiry of period of lease. In the said authority it has further been held that Sub Divisional Officer concerned may in summary proceedings evict the asami patta holder after expiry of period of lease by expunging his name from revenue records.
Moreover Supreme Court in Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh vs. M.A.Khan A.I.R. Supreme Court 2783 has held that no action or order can be set aside on the ground of absence of opportunity of hearing unless it is shown by the aggrieved person that in case opportunity had been provided to him, he would have been able to show some reasonable ground for not taking the action or passing the order. All the petitioners in both these writ petitions clearly admitted that they were granted leases in 1967. Instead of five years, period of 40 years has already expired hence they have got no right to remain in possession.
However, by way of abundant precaution it is directed that all the petitioners must appear before the Sub Divisional Officer concerned on 4.6.2007 alongwith written objections showing cause as to why they should not be evicted and their names should not be expunged from the revenue records. The Sub Divisional Officer concerned is directed to pass order on 4.6.2007 or immediately thereafter in the light of the aforesaid authority of Hari Ram vs. Collector. Sub Divisional Officer shall also immediately issue notice to other similarly situate persons (apart from the petitioners of both these writ petitions) fixing 4.6.2007. Apart from personal notices information in that regard may also be published in Daily Hindi Newspaper Amar Ujala or Dainik Jagaran at least one week in advance.
However, if any one of the petitioners voluntarily surrenders possession on or before 4.6.2007 then he may be considered for fresh allotment as asami of portion of the same land which is in his possession.
Both the writ petitions are accordingly disposed of.
Granting Asami patta is in the nature of largess. The more people get it the better. With the increase in the population it is all the more necessary that lesser area must be allotted and allotment must be rotated after every five years as provided under Rule 176-A of U.P.Z.A.&L.R. Rules. In this manner more people may get land.
It may also be noticed that in different Districts large areas of gaon sabha land are in occupation of different persons as asami patta holders for a very long time inspite of addition of Rule 176-A to U.P.Z.A.&L.R. Rules in 1975. Sub Divisional Officers of all the Tehsils should immediately start proceedings for eviction of such allottees by expunging their names from the revenue records in summary manner. However, it is utmost essential that all the persons concerned must be issued notice. A particular date may be fixed for considering all such matters and apart from personal notices a notice in any of the aforesaid two newspapers may be published one week in advance. After eviction allotment proceedings must immediately be initiated in the light of the observations made above.
Learned standing counsel is directed to send a copy of this judgment to the Secretary concerned for circulation to all the Collectors and Sub-Divisional Officers.
Let a copy of this judgment be supplied free of cost to Shri N.P.Pandey, learned standing counsel within three days.
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