High Court of Judicature at Allahabad
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Jagdish v. Babu Lal - WRIT - B No. 2427 of 1984  RD-AH 5617 (11 November 2005)
Heard Sri Krishanji Khare, learned counsel for the petitioners and Sri S.M.Nazar Bokhari, learned counsel for the contesting respondent.
Aggrieved by the order passed by the Consolidation Officer during chak allotment proceedings the petitioners preferred an appeal which was allowed by the Settlement Officer Consolidation vide order dated 26.6.1973. Feeling aggrieved, respondent no.4 preferred a revision which was allowed by the Deputy Director of Consolidation vide order dated 15.12.1982. Thereafter, an application was moved by the petitioners to recall the said order on the ground that no notice was ever served upon them and the said order was passed without any opportunity of hearing. It has been stated in the writ petition that on 9.3.1983 arguments were heard by the Deputy Director of Consolidation on the restoration application and 6.4.1983 was fixed for argument of the respondent. The application could not be heard on the said date and was adjourned to 15.4.1983 and thereafter to 27.4.1983. On the said date the petitioners were again heard on the restoration application and the case was fixed for 11.5.1983 for argument of the respondent. The matter was again adjourned on a number of dates and ultimately, the respondent was heard on the restoration application on 15.7.1983 and 17.8.1983 was fixed for orders. On the said date the parties were again heard by Deputy Director of Consolidation on the restoration application and 26.8.1983 was fixed for orders. The orders were not passed on the said date and the case was adjourned to 6.9.1983. No orders were passed on the restoration application and the case was being adjourned. Lastly, on 11.11.1983 it was adjourned to 22.11.1983. It has further been alleged that on 22.11.1983 when the petitioners made enquiry they came to know that orders have been passed by the Deputy Director of Consolidation on 11.11.1983 itself and the revision has again been decided on merits.
It has been urged that again no opportunity of advancing argument on merits was afforded by the Deputy Director of Consolidation and the petitioners were only heard on restoration application, yet orders have been passed on merits and the restoration application of the petitioners has been dismissed.
In reply it has been contended that not only the restoration application but the revision was also heard on merits by the Deputy Director of Consolidation.
The specific allegation made in paragraph 22 of the writ petition that 22.11.1983 was fixed for orders on the restoration application and on the said date the petitioners came to know that orders have been passed on 11.11.1983 dismissing the restoration application and the revision has also been decided on merits have not been categorically denied in the counter affidavit.
From a perusal of the order passed by the Deputy Director of Consolidation it is evident that no reasons have been recorded in the order for dismissing the restoration application of the petitioners. It has been categorically stated by the petitioners in the restoration application no notices were served upon them and they were never afforded any opportunity of hearing. No finding has been returned by the Deputy Director of Consolidation on the allegations made by the petitioners in their restoration application. The Deputy Director of Consolidation has simply considered the revision on merits and dismissed the restoration application. No finding has been recorded with regard to grounds taken in the restoration application for recalling the order dated 5.12.1982. The proper course for the Deputy Director of Consolidation would have been to pass orders on the restoration application, and if satisfied on merits of restoration application, he ought to have recalled the order dated 5.12.1982 and thereafter should have proceeded to hear the revision de novo. There appears to be force in the arguments of the learned counsel for the petitioners that petitioners were only heard on restoration application and were not afforded any opportunity to advance arguments on the merits of the revision. From the pleadings of the parties it also becomes clear that order dated 5.12.1982 was an ex-parte order.
In view of the aforesaid facts, it would be in the interest of justice that the petitioners may be afforded an opportunity of hearing on merits by the Deputy Director of Consolidation. Thus the order dated 5.12.1982 and 11.11.1983 passed by the Deputy Director of Consolidation are hereby quashed. The restoration application filed by the petitioners stands allowed.
In the result, the writ petition stands allowed.
The matter is remanded back to the Deputy Director of Consolidation for consideration of the revision on merits in accordance with law and after notice and opportunity of hearing to all concerned.
Since it is an old matter of 1984, the Deputy Director of Consolidation is further directed to decide the dispute within a period of six months from the date of production of a certified copy of this order before him. No order as to costs.
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