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Upendra Das and Ors. Vs. The State of Jharkhand and Ors. - (High Court of Jharkhand) (22 Jun 2017)

Disputed questions of facts could not be decided by Writ Court



Appellants have challenged order passed by Single Judge of this Court, whereby Single Judge has allowed writ application, quashing orders passed by Sub Divisional Officer and Deputy Commissioner, and also Commissioner, Santhal Pargana Division, Dumka, cancelling mutation of land in dispute, done in favour of predecessor-in-interest of writ petitioners (private respondents herein), as far back as in 1972, vide Mutation Case.

In present case, writ petitioners had no relationship with Pradhan, who had settled land and accordingly, Pradhan had authority to settle land in question. In Asha Devi Vs. State of Bihar, law has been laid down that, mauza Gunghasa was a Pradhani mauza and village pradhan was competent under law to make settlement of waste lands in favour of persons who qualify for settlement as per principles laid down under Section 28 of Santhal Parganas Tenancy Act, 1949. Though Section 29 of Act, provides that, previous sanction in writing of Deputy Commissioner would be necessary in cases whether (where), village pradhan makes settlement of waste lands either with himself or with any co-mulraiyat, but it is not the case that, Petitioner was a co-mulraiyat.

Contention of Appellants that, village Pradhan had no authority to settle Fauti land to predecessor-in-interest of writ petitioners, cannot be accepted. Law is well settled in this regard in Asha Devi's case. Case of writ petitioners cannot be said to be hit by Section 29 of Santhal Parganas Tenancy Act, as there is prohibition to Mulraiyat and Pradhan, only for making the settlement, either in their own favour, or in favour of their co-mulraiyats. In present case, it is not case of Appellants that, writ petitioners are co-mulraiyats of Pradhan, who had settled land and accordingly, it cannot be held that, Pradhan had no authority to settle land in question with predecessor-in-interest of writ petitioners.

Disputed questions of facts could not be decided by Writ Court. Any finding on these disputed questions of facts could be given only upon appraisal of evidence adduced by respective parties in a suit filed by aggrieved party, which has not been done by Appellants herein.

Single Judge has clearly held that, mutation was done in favour of predecessor-in-interest of writ petitioners in year 1972 on basis of settlement made by Pradhan in year 1937, which could not be annulled invoking provisions of Santhal Parganas Tenancy Act, 1949. There is no merit in present Letters Patent Appeal and same is accordingly, dismissed.

Relevant : Asha Devi vs. The State of Bihar (now Jharkhand) .MANU/JH/0102/2006


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