Singh Vs. State of Punjab & Ors  INSC 356 (10 July 2000)
MISRA, J. & M.B. SHAH. J.
appeal is filed against the judgment and order dated 21st August, 1989 passed by the High Court of Punjab
and Haryana in C.W.P.No. 4692 of 1989 whereby the High Court dismissed the same
summarily by upholding the order dated 6.9.1988 passed by the Financial
Commissioner Revenue (Respondent No.1), who rejected the Misc. Reh. No.42 of
1987-88 filed by the appellant under Section 33 of the Displaced Persons
(Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 (hereinafter referred to as the
dispute in the present appeal pertains to land admeasuring 2 Kanals 12 Marlas
out of Khasra No.28//23, 24/2 which admeasures 5 Kanals 12 Marlas situated in
village Khokhar, tehsil Dasuya, district Hoshiarpur, Punjab. It has been
contended that the said land was low-lying land and was classified as gair mumkin
toba i.e. pond or tank land, which was not cultivated for more than 10 years.
That land was evacuee property within the meaning of Section 2 (c) of the Act.
the contention of respondent No.2 that on 8.12.1959 the Tehsildar (Sales) put
up for auction a parcel of land stated to be brick kiln property No.25, total
admeasuring 13 Kanals 10 Marlas, which was gair mumkin bhatta. According to the
appellant, what was auctioned was gair mumkin bhatta land and not the land in
dispute which was known as gair mumkin toba. In the said auction, land was
purchased by respondent No.2. On 21st March, 1964 a sale certificate was issued by the H.O.
Jalandhar of the Rehabilitation Department, Government of India. By some error the name of the
village was inaccurately mentioned and the schedule in the sale certificate
read property No.25 brick kiln situated in village Cholong, district Hoshiarpur.
No khasra numbers were given in the original sale certificate to identify the
property. It is also admitted position that because of acquisition of the land
by the Railways out of the auctioned property, respondent no.2 was entitled to
only a total area admeasuring 7 Kanals and 6 Marlas.
17.4.1964 part of this property being Khasra No.28/17/1 admeasuring 7 Kanals 18
Marlas was mutated in the name of respondent No.2 for a period of 14 years.
Respondent No.2 remained satisfied with the mutation and took no steps.
on 22.5.1978 he filed an application for issuance of a corrigendum and the
concerned Managing Officer issued corrigendum to the effect that auction land
comprised Khasra No.R/28/17 total admeasuring 4 Kanals and 14 Marlas in village
Khokhar. This corrigendum was issued after a site report from the Tehsildar
the contention of the appellant that the land in dispute Khasra No.R-28//23,
24/2 was also evacuee land and in 1978-79 the appellant was inducted as a
tenant. At the time of grant of such land to the appellant, it has been
recorded as low-lying waste land (pond land) which appellant levelled, fertilised
and irrigated to make it fit for growing green fodder and thereafter in 1985 onwards
the appellant was growing sugarcane thereon.
grant of land to the appellant as tenant respondent No.2 filed an application
on 25.8.1982 for issue of further corrigendum for including the land which was
granted to the appellant by stating that it was also sold to him by the auction
held in 1959. That application was rejected by the Tehsildar (Sales) by order
dated 9.2.1983 (Annexure H) by holding that the Assistant Settlement Officer
(Sales) after having examined the case papers of the Tehsildar, Hoshiarpur had
issued corrigendum on 22.5.1978 and had issued fresh sale certificate
mentioning Khasra No.28//17/2 and 18, admeasuring 4 Kanals 14 Marlas of village
Khokhar, district Hoshiarpur. The request of respondent No.2 for further
correction in the sale certificate was not acceded to as the corrigendum was
issued after proper verification and after obtaining report from Tehsildar.
the land held by appellant-tenant was put to auction on 30.12.1982 and the
appellant was the highest bidder for purchase of the said land. However, the Tehsildar
(Sales) by order dated 30.1.1985 rejected the said auction by holding that
there was defective proclamation (Annexure- I).
the order dated 9.2.1983 passed by the Tehsildar, respondent No.2 preferred
appeal under Section 22 of the Act before the Settlement Commissioner, Mohali, Punjab without joining the appellant as
party- respondent. That appeal was allowed by order dated 01.12.1983 with a
direction to the Tehsildar (Sales) to examine the relevant revenue record and
issue a fresh corrigendum after hearing the respondent. In the said order, it
was observed that the land purchased at the time of auction was described as gair
mumkin bhatta and because of the clerical omission lesser area was mentioned in
the corrigendum issued without comparing the pre- consolidation khasra numbers
with the post consolidation killa numbers. He observed that the clerical
mistakes can be rectified at any time. On the basis of the said order without
considering any thing a corrigendum for sale certificate was issued on 6.2.1985
including the land which was in possession of the appellant.
that order, appellant preferred appeal/revision before the Deputy Commissioner,
Hoshiarpur (The Chief Settlement Commissioner under the Act) wherein it was
pointed out that corrigendum was issued without hearing the appellant and it
can only be issued if there is any clerical or authentic omission but it cannot
be issued for giving alternative area.
the appellant filed Civil Suit No.168 of 1986 before Sub Judge, Dasuya for
permanent injunction restraining respondent No.2 not to interfere in any manner
in the peaceful possession of the land measuring 2 Kanals 12 Marlas situated in
village Khokhar, tehsil Dasuya. That suit was decreed restraining respondent
No.2 from interfering in any manner in peaceful possession of the land in
dispute except by following due course of law. Against that Civil Appeal No.64
of 1986 filed before the District Court was dismissed on 6.10.1986 by the Addl.
District Judge, Hoshiarpur.
appeal/revision filed against the order dated 1.12.1983 was heard by the Chief
Settlement Commissioner, Hoshiarpur, which was dismissed on the ground that the
appellant did not have any locus standi to file the said appeal or revision as
auction in his favour had been cancelled by the Settlement Commissioner. He
also observed that under the rules there is no bar on issuing of second or more
corrigendum if only arithmetic error is sought to be corrected.
order was challenged before the Financial Commissioner (Revenue) under Section
33 of the Act. After hearing the parties and recording the contentions raised
by them in detail, the Financial Commissioner held that the appellant was not
entitled to any prior notice of hearing before rejection of his bid because
Rule 90 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Rules,
1955 gives discretion to the Settlement Commissioner to accept or reject
appeals without assigning any reasons. He also held that transfer of additional
land in favour of respondent no.2 was well considered and justified and,
therefore, the revision was dismissed. Against that order writ petition was
filed which was summarily dismissed. That order is challenged in this appeal.
Swami, learned counsel appearing for the appellant vehemently submitted that
order passed by the authorities below issuing so- called corrigendum is, on the
face of it, arbitrary, illegal and is passed to favour respondent no.2. It has
been pointed out that auction sale took place in 1959. Respondent no.2 remained
in possession of the property purchased by him since then and he never raised
any objection that the possession of the auctioned property was not handed over
to him or lesser area was given to him, for more than 23 years. It is also
submitted that even in 1978 when respondent no.2 requested for mentioning of
correct name of the village, at that time also he had not submitted that the
area of land which was given to him was less than what was auctioned. She
further pointed out that Tehsildar rightly first rejected the said application
by order dated 9.2.1983 yet in appeal without verification of any record and
without issuing notice to the appellant who was in possession of the property
as a tenant the order was set aside and matter was remanded to the Tehsildar
for fresh decision by the Settlement Commissioner. Surprisingly, without
holding any enquiry, on the basis of the said order a corrigendum was issued on
6.2.1985. This indicates that the corrigendum dated 6.2.1985 is without any
basis and totally arbitrary. She also submitted that the authorities below
erred in holding that the appellant was not having any locus standi without
considering the fact that the possession of the land was handed over to the
appellant in 1978-79; that he made it cultivable and thereafter purchased the
same in an auction which took place on 30.12.1982. That auction was set aside
arbitrarily without issuing any notice to the appellant by order dated
30.1.1985 on the ground that there was defective proclamation for sale. On the
basis of the aforesaid submission, learned counsel submitted that the High
Court materially erred in not exercising its jurisdiction and in rejecting the
writ petition summarily. As against this, learned counsel for respondent no.2
submitted that the order passed by the authorities was based on record of
auction held in 1959 and, therefore, authorities were having jurisdiction to
issue corrigendum in the year 1982. He further vehemently submitted that the
order passed by the authorities is based upon finding of fact and, therefore,
the High Court rightly refused to entertain the writ petition and hence this
appeal should be dismissed.
the facts stated above and from the record, it is apparent that order issuing
so called corrigendum for giving possession of additional land is grossly
Auction of the land stated to be the property No.25 was sold in the year 1959
and the possession of the said land was handed over to respondent no.2 on
8.12.1959. The authorities issued the sale certificate on 21.3.1964 for the
land purchased at the time of auction. At that time, respondent no.2 never
raised an objection that he was not given possession of the entire area of the
land auctioned and sold in his favour.
the year 1978, possession of the land in dispute was given to the appellant as
a tenant. At that time also respondent no.2 had not raised any objection that
the said property was sold to him in the auction.
22.5.1978 respondent no.2 filed an application for issuance of corrigendum and
the concerned Managing Officer issued corrigendum to the effect that the
auctioned land comprised in Khasra No.R/28/17 admeasuring 4 Kanals 14 Marlas in
village Khokhar. This corrigendum was issued after a site report from Tehsildar
(Sales), Hoshiarpur. At that time also respondent no.2 had not raised any
objection that site report or the corrigendum issued by the concerned Managing
Officer was incorrect.
Respondent no.2 applied only on 25.9.1982 for issuing of fresh corrigendum
correcting the sale certificate issued in his favour with the request to
include the portion of the land which was in possession of the appellant since
said application was rightly rejected by the Tehsildar (Sales) by order dated
9.2.1983. The said order was set aside in appeal and the matter was remanded to
the Tehsildar (Sales) to examine the relevant record and to issue a fresh
corrigendum after hearing respondent no.2. It appears that without recording
any reason and without considering anything the Tehsildar issued the
corrigendum (Annexure K) on 6.2.1985 including the land which was in possession
of the appellant.
is mentioned in the orders that what was sold to respondent no.2 in a public
auction held in 1959 was a brick kiln property no.25, which was known as gair mumkin
against that, the land on which the appellant was inducted as a tenant was
classified as gair mumkin toba i.e. pond or tank land.
it appears on the record that some portion of the land which was sold by
auction to respondent no.2 was acquired by railways and without considering
this aspect the impugned order is passed. Authorities have also not considered
the effect of consolidation proceedings.
case, in the present case it cannot be said that there is clerical or
arithmetical error in mentioning khasra number or its area in the sale
certificate. As such, what is contended by respondent no.2 is the possession of
the land which was sold by auction in his favour in 1959 is not handed over and
only a part of the land was handed over to him in 1959.
dispute he raised in 1982, that means, after lapse of 23 years. Considering the
long lapse of time and the fact that there is no question of clerical or
arithmetic error, the authorities ought not to have exercised jurisdiction
under Section 25(2) of the Act which only empowers the authority to correct
clerical or arithmetical mistakes in any order or errors arising therein from
any accidental slip or omission. Under the guise of corrigendum authorities
have passed an order handing over possession of additional land in favour of
also apparent that the Chief Settlement Commissioner has not applied his mind
to the facts of the case and has only observed that there is no bar on issuing
the second corrigendum or more corrigendum in correcting the arithmetical
the Chief Settlement Commissioner ought to have considered the fact that the
appellant was in possession of the land as he was inducted as a tenant since
1978. Therefore, he was having locus standi to file an appeal against the
so-called corrigendum granting additional land which was in his possession, to
we find much force in the contention raised by the learned counsel for the
appellant that Tehsildar (Sales) erred in passing the order dated 30.1.1985
(Annexure 'I) setting aside the auction sale dated 30.12.1982 on the ground of
defective proclamation without issuing any notice to the appellant. Tehsildar
(Sales) ought to have heard the appellant, whose bid was highest and was
accepted on 30.12.1982 before passing the impugned order after three years. In
the present case, the appellant was in possession of the land as a tenant.
bid was accepted and if that bid was to be set aside, his (appellants) rights
would be certainly adversely affected, therefore, he was required to be heard.
Since no such opportunity was afforded to the appellant before passing such
order, it requires to be quashed. [Re: Surinder Singh v.
Government and others, (1986) 4 SCC 667].
view of the aforesaid discussion, the impugned order passed by the High Court
dismissing the writ petition, filed by the appellant, in limine is set aside.
The corrigendum dated 6.2.1985 (Annexure K) issued by the Tehsildar-cum-M.O., Dasuya
correcting the sale certificate by including the land held by the appellant as
a tenant issued in favour of respondent no.2 is quashed and set aside.
Consequently, the impugned orders passed by the Financial Commissioner Revenue
and Secretary to Govt. of Punjab, Rehabilitation Department and the order
passed by the Chief Settlement Commissioner, Hoshiarpur are set aside. The
order (Annexure I) dated 30.1.1985 passed by the Tehsildar (Sales) setting
aside the auction dated 30.12.1982 is also quashed. The appeal stands disposed
of accordingly with no order as to costs.