In the Supreme Court of India 2SCR 823 Appellant State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors. Respondent Sardar D.K. Jadav Date of Judgement 25.01.1968 Bench Hon’ble Justice J.C. Shah; Justice Vaidynathier Ramaswami
The present appeal is brought to the Supreme Court by Special Leave to Appeal challenging the judgment of the Madhya Pradesh High Court dated November 30, 1966, where the writ petition of the respondent was allowed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court and has quashed the orders of the Additional Commissioner of the Gwalior Division as they were alleged to decide any question raised by the Respondent under Section 5(c) of the Madhya Bharat Abolition of Jagirs Act, 1951.
The Ruler of erstwhile Gwalior in Samvat 1885 conferred the jagir of Mauza Siroli situated in Pargana Gwalior to Shri Bhavdeo Mishra. All the properties in the jagir including well, fisheries, tanks, ponds, etc. stood vested in the State under Section 4 of the Abolition Act, 1951, and by the notification under Section 3 of the Abolition Act of 1951. All the wells, tanks, trees, or occupied land belonging to Jagirdar were excluded from vesting. Under the Abolition Act of 1951, after the abolition of jagirs, the proceedings were initiated to determine the compensation which was payable to the Respondent, and the same was decided at a sum of Rs. 22,293/- and out of which the loan amount of Rs. 3586/- was paid. The Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code finally came in to force on October 2, 1959. On April 5, 1961, an application was made to the Collector, Gwalior by the Respondent under Section 251 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959, claiming the compensation for the tanks which according to him were built by him and his predecessors in an area of 1679 bighas and 18 biswas of land. The amount of compensation was decided by the Sub-Divisional Officer which was Rs. 11,512/- by his order dated April 24, 1963, and the same officer suo motu canceled his previous order. The respondent presented an appeal before the Collector of Gwalior who dismissed the appeal of the Respondent and said that the property claimed by the Respondent as tanks were not really of that description as all was done to cause temporary obstruction by creating bunds to the flow of waters and this didn’t fell within the purview of Section 251(1) of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959 and the compensation was not payable under the same. The second appeal by the respondent was presented before Commissioner, Gwalior Division who dismissed the appeal under Section 251 that the compensations could not be claimed by the respondents holding that the ‘tanks’ were situated on the “occupied land”. An application was made to the Collector of Gwalior by the respondent on July 4, 1963, mentioning that he was entitled to the compensation if the tanks were vested in the State Government and his application was dismissed by the Collector on June 11, 1964. Under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution, the Respondent moved to the High Court of Madhya Pradesh for the grant to quash two orders of Collector of Gwalior and the two orders of the Additional Commissioner. The respondent’s writ petition was opposed by the Appellants on the ground that ‘tanks’ claimed by the respondent are in reality no tanks at all and under Section 5(c) they were not “occupied land” and “tanks” were vested in the State under Section 4(1)(a) of the Abolition Act, 1951. The High Court allowed the writ petition filed by the Respondent and quashed the abovementioned four orders.
Statutes and Provisions Discussed:
- Section 252(1) of the Land Revenue Code, 1959.
- Section 5 (c) of the Abolition Act, 1951.
- Section 4(1)(a) of the Abolition Act, 1951.
- Section 17 of the Abolition Act, 1951.
- Section 4 of the Abolition Act, 1951.
- Can the proceedings be initiated for compensation after the abolition of jagirs?
Arguments on behalf of the Petitioner:
The counsel on the behalf of petitioner contended that the High Court committed error in holding that under Section 17 of the Abolition Act, 1951, it was the task of Jagir Commission alone to inquire that whether the claim under Section 5 (c) of the Respondent was very well-founded on the merits of the facts and to refer the matter for the final judgment of the Government under Section 17 of the Abolition Act, 1951.
Arguments on behalf of Respondents:
It was contended by the respondents that the wells and tanks constructed were “occupied lands” of the jagirdar within the purview of Section 5 (c) of the Abolition Act, 1951 and further said that the appellants are vested with no authority to take the possession of those wells and tanks because the title did not vest with the State Government within the meaning of Section 5(c) which is having an overriding effect on Section 4 of the Abolition Act of 1951. It was said that the High Court was vested with the duty to decide the jurisdictional fact whether wells and tanks belonged to the respondent as it was claimed by him which belonged to the jagirdaar within the purview of Section 5 (c) of the Abolition Act of 1951.
It was held by the Honorable Supreme Court that Section 17 of the Abolition Act of 1951 does not apply here as it talks about the jagirdar whose jagir land resumed within the meaning of Section 3 of the Abolition Act of 1951. Hence, the court held that no tanks were situated on jagirdars land under section 5 (c) of the Abolition Act of 1951 and the respondent was not entitled to receive compensation as no property ever belonged to the appellant.
The court opined that any scope for inquiry under Section 17 related to disputes within the claimants to jagirdari title which is already mentioned in Section 3 of the said Act. The inquiry by the Jagir Commission did not embrace in scope any disputes within the meaning of Section 17 as to whether any particular property falls within the meaning of Section 4(1) (a) read with Section 5 of the Abolition Act of 1951. The court very firmly said that the High Court was wrong in settling that Section 17 applied to the present case and the disputes raised by the Respondent should have been looked in within the procedure mentioned in Section 17 of the Abolition Act of 1951. The following reasons directed the court to set aside the judgment of the Madhya Pradesh High Court and the present case was sent back to the High Court for deciding it afresh.
It can be concluded from the present case that any property did not fall within the meaning of Section 4 (1) (a) read with Section 5 as mentioned in the present case. It was also held by the Supreme Court that the findings made by the Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh were wrong as Section 17 of the Abolition Act of 1951 did not apply to the present case. The appeal was finally allowed and the court held that because Section 17 of the Abolition Act did not apply to the present case the High Court of Madhya Pradesh has to decide the case afresh.
“The views of the authors are personal“