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Agadhu Panda Vs. Pramananda Beura [1994] INSC 84 (4 February 1994)

Kuldip Singh (J) Kuldip Singh (J) Yogeshwar Dayal (J)

CITATION: 1994 SCC Supl. (2) 576




1. Special leave granted.

2. This appeal is a sequel to a reference made by the Land Reforms Commissioner to the Board of Revenue, Orissa under Section 59(2) of the Orissa Land Reforms Act, 1960 (the Act). The said reference was made on the basis of an application submitted by the appellant to the Land Reforms Commissioner wherein the appellant claimed that the house- site settled in his favour by the Revenue Officer was illegally set aside by the appellate authority on the basis of a compromise which according to the appellant is illegal.

The question for the consideration of the Board of Revenue was whether the compromise entered into between the appellant (tenant) and the respondent (landlord) was in violation of the provisions of Section 22-A of the Act. The Board of Revenue, on the basis of the material before it, came to the conclusion that the compromise was not valid and in fact intended to defeat the provisions of the Act which were beneficial and for the protection of the raiyats. The Board allowed the reference and held that the appellant- tenant was entitled to be a deemed raiyat under the Act.

The High Court, however, in exercise of its writ jurisdiction reversed the finding of the Board. This appeal is directed against the judgment of the High Court.

3.We have heard learned counsel for the parties. We have been taken through the order of the Board and also the judgment of the High Court. We are of the view that tile High Court fell into patent error in reversing the well- reasoned order of the Board. The Board, after examining the record and also on appreciation of the oral and other evidence, came to the conclusion that the compromise was wholly unjust and was with a view to defeat the provisions of the Act. There was no basis whatsoever before the High Court to interfere with the finding reached by the Board.

Sub-sections (2) and (3) of Section 22-A of the Act specifically provide that a raiyat or a tenant desiring to surrender or abandon his holding may furnish information in writing in that respect to the Revenue Officer. The Revenue Officer after making an inquiry in the prescribed manner may approve or disapprove the proposed surrender or abandonment.

The mode and nature of inquiry to be made by the Revenue Officer is + Arising out of SLP (C) No. 15042 of 1993 577 prescribed under the rules framed under the Act. No inquiry of any kind was held in this case. There was no prior approval for surrendering the holding by the appellant. The High Court reversed the findings of the Board without any justification and in utter violation of the mandatory provisions of the Act.

4.We, therefore, allow the appeal, set aside the impugned judgment of the High Court and restore that of the Board.

No costs.


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