Lahorimal Jethanand Vs.
Managing Officer/Tahsildar, Jalna & Ors  INSC 1463 (29 August 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIIL APPEAL NO. 5322 OF 2008 (Arising
out of SLP(C)No.3331 OF 2006) LAHORIMAL JETHANAND ... APPELLANT(S) :VERSUS:
The appellant herein
migrated to India from Pakistan in the year 1948. He was registered under
Section 5 of Bombay Refugees Act, 1948. A certificate to that effect was issued
in his favour. By an order dated 11.10.1994 passed by the Settlement
Commissioner, he was allotted House No. 4003 in the District of Jalna, in lieu
of his claim over the land that he owned and possessed in Pakistan.
indisputably was in possession of the said premises. A notice dated 2.4.2005
was issued asking it to vacate the said premises in terms of Section 19 of the
Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954. The respondent
filed a writ petition before the 2 Bombay High Court. The said writ petition
was allowed directing:
"In view of this
position, the writ petition is disposed of. Rule is discharged. However, the
Managing Officer is directed to take into consideration the observations made
above and give reasonable opportunity to the petitioners before passing further
necessary orders. Considering the time taken in this matter, we expect that the
Managing Officer will pass necessary orders within a period of two months form
the date of receipt of this order. The petitioners to appear before the
Managing Officer and it will not be necessary for the Managing Officer to issue
further notices to the petitioners to appear before him. The petitioners
should, suo motu, appear before the Managing Officer on 3rd April, 2000."
Pursuant thereto or
in furtherance thereof the Managing Officer heard the parties. However, despite
the fact that limited notice was issued to respondent No.4, their other
contentions were also entertained and it was ordered:
representation made by the petitioner is allowed. It is declared that the
petitioner is entitled to get the property on Government approved rates as are
prevalent today as per B & C Department. In case the respondent obtains an
order from the competent authorities holding him entitled to receive amount of
compensation within a period of six month then he can withdraw the said amount
deposited by the petitioner after assessment at the Government approved rates.
The request of the respondent for allotment of house No. 4003 is rejected.
The petitioners are
directed to execute a bond on a stamp paper of Rs. 20/- giving an undertaking
that they are ready to purchase the house in question at price as may be
determined by B & C Department on approved Government rates. If the
petitioners are not ready to purchase the said property than they may be
evicted and the property be sold by auction as per rules laid in Govt. letter
dated 1.1.88 & 3.3.95.
3 The notice issued
to the petitioners in the year 1995 for their eviction is withdrawn."
The appeal as well as
a revision application preferred by the appellant thereagainst have been
dismissed. He questioned the validity of the said orders by filing a writ
petition before the High Court of Judicature at Bombay. It was marked as Writ
Petition No. 6762/2002. By reason of the impugned judgment dated 11.10.2005,
the said writ petition has been dismissed by the High Court directing:
petition the petitioner seeks a direction to hand over peaceful, vacant
possession of the house property bearing No. 4003-Jaina. Such prayer can better
be decided in a civil suit. Similar is the prayer regarding cancellation of
conveyance in favour of the petitioner. That also is a prayer which can be
agitated before the appropriate civil court.
Reserving those rights
the petition is dismissed. Civil Application No. 1654 of 2004 stands disposed
appearing on behalf of the appellant would submit that keeping in view the
provisions of Section 36 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and
Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 as also Section 46 of the Administration of Evacuee
Property Act, 1950, the Civil Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
The learned counsel appears to be correct.
Section 36 of the
Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954, reads as under:
4 "Bar of
jurisdiction.- Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, no Civil Court
shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any
matter which the Central Government or any officer or authority appointed under
this Act is empowered by or under this Act to determine, and no injunction
shall be granted by any Court or other authority in respect of any action taken
or to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act."
Section 46 of the
Administration of Evacuee Property Act, 1950, reads as under:
Civil Courts barred in certain matters.- Save as otherwise expressly provided
in this Act, no Court or Revenue Court shall have jurisdiction- (a) to
entertain or adjudicate upon question whether any property or any right to or
interest in any property is or is not evacuee property; or xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx
(c) to question the legality of any action taken by the Custodian-General or
the Custodian under this Act; or (d) in respect of any matter which the
Custodian-General or the Custodian is empowered by or under this Act to
The provisions of the
1954 Act as also 1950 Act are absolutely clear and explicit, in terms whereof
the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is barred. This aspect of the matter is
covered by a decision of this Court in Custodian of Evacuee Property, Punjab
& Ors. vs. Jafran Begum, (AIR 1968 SC 169).
5 We, therefore, are
of the opinion that the High Court could not have directed the appellant to
file a civil suit. The impugned order, therefore, cannot be sustained and it is
set aside accordingly. The matter is remitted to the High Court for
consideration thereof afresh on merit. The appeal is disposed of.
The respondent No.4
shall not create any third party interest in the meantime.
We make it clear that
we have not expressed any opinion on the merit of the matter.
We would however
request the High Court to consider the desirability of disposing of the matter
as expeditiously as possible, preferably within a period of six months from the
date of communication of this order.