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Rahmat Ali v. Addl.District Judge, Sonbhadra And Others - WRIT - C No. 40826 of 1993  RD-AH 6169 (22 November 2005)
CIVIL MISC. WRIT PETITION NO.40826 OF 1993
Rahmat Ali ..Petitioner
Additional District Judge, Sonbhadra ..Respondents
Hon'ble Bharati Sapru, J.
The present petition has been filed against an order dated 25.9.93 passed by respondent No.1, the Additional District Judge, Sonbhadra in a proceedings under Section 17 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
The facts of the case are that the petitioner Rahmat Ali states that he has a residential house over plot No.177 corresponding to old plot No.207 and has enjoyed the possession thereof for the last 70-80 years.
Cause of action arose when the said land was sought to be included as a reserved forest under Section 4 of the Act. Objections were invited and the petitioner filed his objections under Section 6 of the Act. The said objections were decided by way of an order passed under Section 11 of the Act on 28.3.92. The order dated 28.3.92 was passed for making an on spot inspection and the authority held the plot to be outside the purview of Section 4 of the Act.
That the petitioner contended that even though no appeal was filed against the said order dated 28.3.92, the matter was presented before the Additional District Judge, who remanded the matter for reconsideration as a dispute was raised as to whether the land belongs to the Railway or of the Employees State Insurance Corporation. The order of remand was passed on 22.2.93.
That pursuant to the remand order, the Settlement Officer, Forest again made an on spot inspection and having
examined the matter in detail, confirmed the earlier order and once again by his order dated 12.3.93 held the plots in question to be outside the purview of Section 4 of the Act. Thus, in one set of proceedings, it was clearly held that the land in question i.e., plot No.177 is outside the purview of Section 4 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
Fresh proceedings were again initiated under Section 17 of the Act and the impugned order dated 25.9.93 was passed, which is Annexure-1 to the writ petition.
Learned counsel for the petitioner has drawn my attention to the order sheet of this case and has contended that from the order sheet itself, it is clear that notices were not sent to all persons in the matter. The matter was reopened in respect of 15 cases, but notices were only sent in eight matters.
The impugned order recalls that notices were sent and parties were heard. It is the petitioner's contention and as has been stated in paragraph-2 of the writ petition that the impugned order does not specify that the petitioner received summons or that he was served. A counter affidavit has been filed and in reply in paragraph-4, no specific averment has been made by the State whether or not the petitioner has in fact given notices of the matter and whether or not the petitioner was served after the re-opening of the case.
In view of the above facts and circumstances, I think that it would be proper to afford the petitioner an opportunity of hearing and, therefore, the matter is remanded to the respondent No.1 to decide the matter afresh after giving the petitioner a proper opportunity of being heard.
Under interim orders of this Court, the petitioner had been directed to pay Rs.2000/- per annum for use of this land. Until the matter is decided, the petitioner shall keep on paying the said amount of Rs.2000/- per annum to the Forest
Department. The matter being an old one, it is expected that the Court below will decide this matter at an early date, and if possible, conclude this matter within a period of three months from the date of certified copy of this judgment.
The impugned order dated 25.9.93 is, therefore set aside in so far as it relates to the petitioner holding plot No.177 and arising out of appeal No.69 of 1993. The petitioner shall not be dispossessed from the plot until the conclusion of the matter remanded.
The writ petition is thus allowed. There shall be no order as to costs.
Dated : 22.11.05
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