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Narendra Pal Singh v. Addl. Commissioner, Consolidation Lko. And Others - WRIT - B No. 74135 of 2005  RD-AH 7003 (6 December 2005)
Heard Sri Satendra Pratap Singh, learned counsel for the petitioner and learned Standing Counsel for the respondents.
By consent of the learned counsel for the parties, the writ petition is being disposed of at the admission stage itself.
By means of this writ petition, the petitioner has challenged the order dated 22.11.2005 passed by Additional Commissioner (Consolidation), Lucknow rejecting the transfer application filed by the petitioner.
The facts are that against the order dated 12.6.1996 passed by Consolidation Officer, respondent no.3 State filed a high time barred appeal along with delay condonation application. On the first date i.e. 7.9.2005 the petitioner entered appearance and sought time to file objection. The Settlement Officer Consolidation though allowed the time prayed for but directed that no further opportunity for filing objection shall be given. The State also filed application annexing therewith certain documents which was accepted by the Settlement Officer Consolidation on record without opportunity of rebuttal to the petitioner. This created an apprehension in the mind of the petitioner that he will not get justice from the Settlement Officer Consolidation and as a consequence, he moved an application before respondent no.1 for transferring the proceedings of the appeal to the court of some other Settlement Officer Consolidation. It was also mentioned in the transfer application that though the Settlement Officer Consolidation has been transferred vide order dated 24.9.2005 but on account of the election the order has not been given effect and he has not been relieved. Respondent no.1 dismissed the transfer application on the ground that the petitioner has failed to make any ground for transfer and on account of the transfer of the Settlement Officer Consolidation the application was not liable to be entertained.
Justice should not only be done but also seem to have been done. Though the Settlement Officer Consolidation has been transferred but has not yet been relieved. In the circumstances, the apprehension expressed by the petitioner does not appear to be baseless. Once the Settlement Officer Consolidation has been transferred to some other district though he may not have been relieved there is no reason why he should proceed to decide the appeal particularly, in view of the apprehension expressed by the petitioner.
In view of the aforesaid, the order dated 22.11.2005 passed by respondent no.1 cannot be sustained and is hereby quashed.
In the result, the writ petition succeeds and is allowed.
In case the Settlement Officer Consolidation who was hearing the appeal has still not relinquished his charge in pursuance to the transfer order, the District Deputy Director of Consolidation/District Magistrate, Bulandshahr shall ensure that proceedings of the appeal are transferred from his court to some other Settlement Officer Consolidation. However, in case if he has relinquished his charge in pursuance to the transfer order and a new Settlement Officer Consolidation has taken charge he shall be free to proceed with the hearing of the appeal in accordance with law.
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