Bhagat Vs. Thakur Hemborm & Ors  INSC 1416 (7 November 1996)
O R D
notice was sent to the legal representatives of the contesting respondents, the
acknowledgment has not been received. Therefore, it must be deemed to have been
only question for consideration is: whether the respondent should be appointed
as a headman under Section 5 of the Santal Parganas Tenancy (Supplementary
Provisions) Act, 1949 (Bihar Act 14 of 1949) (for short, `Act') by virtue of
hereditary right or by election? It is seen that the village headman, by name Hari
Hembrom, had resigned in 1950 as a headman and, thereafter, no appointment of
the headman was made. In the meanwhile, the village has become khas village
within the meaning of Section 1(ix) of the Act.
when an application was made by the Raiyats of the village, the Assistant
Commissioner had directed to conduct the election in which the appellant was
declared the successful candidate. When the respondent challenged the election
before the authority, a remand order was passed.
appellant filed a revision before the Commissioner. The Commissioner accepting
the contentions of the appellant set aside the order of appointment. When writ
petition was filed against that order, the High Count by the impugned order had
held that appointment should be made as far as possible under the hereditary
principle. In case the candidate in the line of succession on hereditary
principle is unavailable, them the election requires to be done. The question,
therefore, is : whether the view taken by the High Court is correct in law?
Section 4(ix) defines "Khas village", as a village in which there is
no mulraiyat (headman) nor for the time being any village headman irrespective
of whether there was not previously a mulraiyat or village headman in the
village. Section 5 provides that on an application of a raiyat or of landlord
of any Khas village and with the consent of at least two-thirds of the jamabandi
raiyats of the village ascertained in the manner prescribed, the Deputy
Commissioner may declare that headman shall be appointed for the village and
shall then proceed to make the appointment in the prescribed manner.
question then is: whether a person from different village can contest the
election for headman? It is seen that a reading of the provisions does not
indicate that a stranger to the village is intended to be elected as a headman.
In this case, the appellant is right that the principle of hereditary
succession does not arise. It would arise only with the incumbant dies and his
successor is available; in such a situation, under the scheme of the Act, the headmanship
is required to be given to his son. In this case, since Hari Hembrom had
already resigned voluntarily, the question of hereditary succession does not
the appellant is not from the same village.
he cannot claim the right of appointment. The Commissioner, therefore, is
directed to hold a regular election in accordance with prescribed procedure and
read with Section 5 of the Act.
appeal is accordingly disposed of. No costs.
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