On the basis of the decree obtained by him, the 3rd respondent filed an application before the Tahsildar, Serilingampally Mandal, the 2nd respondent herein, with a request to enter his name in the revenue records and to issue pattadar pass book and title deeds.


THE HON'BLE MR JUSTICE L.NARASIMHA REDDY          

Writ Petition No.2176 of 2012
       
07.08.2012

Dharma Teja and another

The Revenue Divisional Officer, Chevella Division, at Attapur, Ranga Reddy
District, and others

Counsel for petitioners: Sri P. Govind Reddy

Counsel for Respondents : G.P for Revenue Sri A. Pulla Reddy for R-3

< GIST:

> HEAD NOTE:  

? Cases referred

AIR 2008 A.P. 15 (F.B)

ORDER:
       
The petitioners purchased an extent of Ac.1.02 guntas of land in Sy.No.2/A of
Nanakramguda Village, through a sale deed dated 07-11-2002 executed by, as many  
as 33 individuals, who are said to be the legal descendants of the original
owner of the land.
The names of the petitioners were entered in the revenue records, and it is
stated that the petitioners are in possession and enjoyment of the property.

The vendors 1 and 2, by name, P. Ravi Singh and P. Rajesh Singh are said to have
entered into an agreement of sale with
one, Sri R. Jairam Singh, the 3rd respondent herein, for sale of the said
property on 13-06-2002.  On the basis of that agreement of sale, the 3rd
respondent filed O.S.No.2178 of 2007 in the Court of
I Additional Senior Civil Judge, Ranga Reddy District, at L.B. Nagar, for
specific performance of agreement of sale.  The suit was decreed ex-parte, on
31-12-2007.  Based on that, the 3rd respondent filed E.P.No.48 of 2008.  Since
the judgment-debtors did not come forward to execute the sale deed, the
Executing Court itself executed a sale deed in favour of the 3rd respondent
on 25-10-2008.
On the basis of the decree obtained by him, the
3rd respondent filed an application before the Tahsildar, Serilingampally
Mandal, the 2nd respondent herein, with a request to enter his name in the
revenue records and to issue pattadar pass book and title deeds.  On coming to
know that the 3rd respondent obtained decree, in respect of the land purchased
by them,
the petitioners filed E.A.No.203 of 2009, under Rules 97 and 99 of Order XXI
C.P.C.  The E.A was dismissed.  In W.P.No.18474 of 2009, this Court is said to
have directed maintenance of status quo, after noticing that the petitioners
filed O.S.No.2176 of 2009 in the Court of VIII Additional Senior Civil Judge,
Ranga Reddy, for the relief of cancellation of the sale deed dated 25-10-2008,
executed in favour of the 3rd respondent.

The 2nd respondent passed orders dated 18-07-2011, directing that the name of
the 3rd respondent be entered in the revenue record in respect of the said land.
Aggrieved by that order, the petitioners filed an appeal under Section 5(5) of
the A.P. Rights in Land and Pattadar Pass Books Act, 1971 (for short 'the Act'),
before the Special Grade Deputy Collecto and Revenue Divisional Officer,
Chevella Division, the 1st respondent herein.  Through order dated 17-12-2011,
the 1st respondent disposed of the appeal, by advising the parties to approach
the Civil Court for redressal of their grievance.  The petitioners feel
aggrieved by the said order.

The petitioners contend that there was absolutely no basis for the 2nd
respondent in entering the name of the 3rd respondent
on the strength of an ex parte decree.  They contend that though the 1st
respondent found that the 2nd respondent committed mistake in passing the order
dated 18-07-2011, without reference to the earlier record, he did not grant any
relief.  It is also stated that the 2nd respondent did not comply with the
provisions of law,
as regards service of notice.

The 1st respondent filed a counter-affidavit.  According to him, the 2nd
respondent committed mistake in passing the order dated 18-07-2011, since no
reference was made to the file, pertaining to the making of entries in favour of
the petitioners.

In his counter-affidavit, the 3rd respondent stated that the writ petition is
not maintainable, since the petitioners have already availed the remedy, by
filing a suit, as provided for under Section
8 of the Act.  He further submits that he approached this Court by filing a writ
petition, and has withdrawn the same, when it was pointed out that he has
already filed a suit, in O.S.No.2178 of 2007 in the Court of I Additional Senior
Civil Judge, Ranga Reddy District, at L.B. Nagar, for specific performance of
agreement of sale.

Heard Sri P. Govind Reddy, learned counsel for the petitioners, learned
Government Pleader for Revenue and
Sri A. Pulla Reddy, learned counsel for the 3rd respondent.

The petitioners challenge the orders dated 18-07-2011, passed by the 2nd
respondent, and the one, dated 17-12-2011, passed by the 1st respondent, in the
appeal. The principal grievance of the petitioners is that the 2nd respondent
did not follow the procedure prescribed by law.  Extensive reference is made to
sub-section (3) of Section 5 of the Act.  That provision deals with the manner
in which, notices are to be issued, whenever the recording authority proposes to
make alterations in the revenue records.  It is true that the provision mandates
that apart from issuing a general notice, the recoding authority must issue a
notice to the person, whom he considers to be adversely effected.  Since the
names of the petitioners were already existing on the record, they answer that
description, and were entitled to be issued a notice.

The petitioners can be said to have suffered any detriment,
if only they did not have any notice of the proceedings, before the 2nd
respondent initiated on the application, submitted by the
3rd respondent.  It is not in dispute that the petitioners became aware of the
proceedings on the basis of the general notice and have submitted their
objections, pointing out their grievance.
In addition to that, before the 2nd respondent has passed any orders, the
petitioners approached this Court by filing W.P.No.18474 of 2009 for a Writ of
Mandamus, to declare the action of the
2nd respondent in trying to dispossess them, by deleting their names
in revenue records, pertaining to the land in Sy.No.2/A, admeasuring 8 guntas,
and Sy.No.3, admeasuring 34 guntas, respectively, totalling to Ac.1.02 guntas,
situated in Nanakramguda Village, Ranga Reddy District.  The writ petition,
however, was dismissed as infructuous, on 13-06-2011, on the ground that the
petitioners have already instituted a suit, on the same subject-matter.  The
order reads,

"It is reported that in view of filing of a suit on the very same subject
matter, the writ petition has become infructuous.
Recording the same, the writ petition is dismissed as infructuous.  The interim
order, dated 02-09-2009, shall stand vacated.  No costs."

Taking note of the fact that the writ petition was dismissed as infructuous, the
2nd respondent proceeded to decide the matter
on the basis of the sale deed, executed in favour of the
3rd respondent, by the Executing Court.

The petitioners filed an appeal before the 1st respondent, against the orders
dated 18-07-2011, passed by the
2nd respondent; together with an application for suspension of the order under
appeal.  Alleging that the application was not taken up for hearing, they filed
W.P.No.26303 of 2011.  That writ petition was disposed of on 20-09-2011,
directing that the application filed for suspension of the order dated 18-07-
2011 be taken up for hearing within a period of 10 days.  The 1st respondent has
taken up the appeal itself and disposed of the same on 17-12-2011.

Being an appellate authority, the 1st respondent was required to be specific and
ought to have acted in terms of Section 5(5) of the Act.  Curiously enough, on
the one hand, he expressed his displeasure about the manner in which the 2nd
respondent has passed the orders dated 18-07-2011, and on the other hand, has
refused to interfere with the same.  He has chosen to direct the parties to
resolve their disputes in a Civil Court, obviously by keeping Section 8 of the
Act, in mind.  He failed to realise that much before the 2nd respondent passed
the orders, dated 18-07-2011, the petitioners have filed O.S.No.2176 of 2009 in
the Court of
VIII Additional Senior Civil Judge, Ranga Reddy District at L.B. Nagar for the
relief of cancellation of the decree, in O.S.No.2178 of 2007 passed by the Court
of I Additional Senior Civil Judge, Ranga Reddy, which constituted the root
cause for the proceedings.

The Act provides for the mechanism, for making or alteration in the revenue
records.  It is well-settled that the entries in the revenue records, by
themselves, do not either confer title or take away the one, that exist in an
individual.  They only reflect the existing state of affairs.  Obviously for
this reason, the Act mandates that in case there exists any dispute as to the
correctness or otherwise of the entries, touching upon the title, the parties
shall have to resolve the same by taking recourse to Civil Courts
(See Section 8 of the Act).

Learned counsel for the petitioners contend that the proceedings before the 2nd
respondent were vitiated.  He placed reliance upon the judgment rendered by a
Full Bench of this Court, in CHINNAM PANDURANGAM v. MANDAL REVENUE OFFICER,            
SERILINGAMPALLY MANDAL AND OTHERS1, in support of his contention, that an      
opportunity to be given in the proceedings under Section 5 of the Act must be
effective.  There is absolutely no quarrel with the said proposition.  The Full
Bench of this Court emphasized the importance of compliance with the principles
of natural justice, in judicial and quasi judicial proceedings, and held that
unless an effected party is given opportunity of being heard, the proceedings
would get vitiated.

The petitioners could have pressed this principle into service,
if only the 2nd respondent passed the order dated
18-07-2011, without issuing notice to them.  Not only the petitioners have
noticed the proceedings, but also have participated therein by filing their
objections.  It is no doubt true that Section 5(3) of the Act provides for
issuance of a general notice to public, and specific notice to effected persons.
However, a person, who is entitled to be issued a specific notice, cannot
complain of infraction of the provision, if he is aware of the general notice,
and has responded to the same.  There does not exist any qualitative difference
between explanations, that are required to be submitted, in reply to these two
kinds of notices.  The objective underlying both of them is to ensure that, the
effected party is informed of the on-going proceedings.  No differentiation is
made as to the plea, that can be raised by an individual, who receives general
notice, on the one hand, and the one, who receives a specific notice, on the
other hand.  The distinction in this regard is virtually without any difference.
At any rate, the petitioners have realised that the root cause for the
proceedings initiated by the
3rd respondent is the decree in O.S.No.2178 of 2007, and have filed a suit for
cancellation of the decree therein,
as rightly advised.  Even otherwise, they have an alternative remedy by way of a
revision, under Section 9 of the Act.  This writ petition cannot be entertained,
in this scenario.
The writ petition is accordingly dismissed.  It is left open to the petitioners
to work out their remedies, in accordance with law.
The miscellaneous petition filed in this writ petition also shall stand disposed
of.   There shall be no order as to costs.

________________________  
L. NARASIMHA REDDY, J.    
Dt.07-08-2012

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