The petitioner is an Ex-serviceman. He was assigned an extent of 5 acres of land in Sy.No.1228 of Aswaraopet Village and Mandal, Khammam District, through proceedings dated 30-12-2011 by the Tahsildar, Aswaraopet, the 3rd respondent herein. A news item was published in the District Edition of a Telugu Daily, on 01-01-2012, alleging that the Government land worth Rs.50 lakhs was assigned to the petitioners by the 3rd resondent in collusion with the Village Revenue Officer and Mandal Revenue Inspector. The Revenue Divisional Officer, Palvancha, the 2nd respondent visited the place, and is said to have verified the record. He submitted a report to the District Collector, Khammam, the 1st respondent, pointing out certain irregularities.


THE HON'BLE MR JUSTICE L.NARASIMHA REDDY          

WRIT PETITION No.23604 OF 2012  
       
17.08.2012

Madhura Krishnarjuna Rao

Collector and District Magistrate, Khammam, and others.

Counsel for petitioner: Sri Nimmagadda Satyanarayana  

Counsel for Respondents : GP for Revenue

<GIST:

>HEAD NOTE:  

?Cases referred

ORDER:

The petitioner is an Ex-serviceman.  He was assigned an extent of 5 acres of
land in Sy.No.1228 of Aswaraopet Village and Mandal, Khammam District, through  
proceedings dated 
30-12-2011 by the Tahsildar, Aswaraopet, the 3rd respondent herein.  A news item
was published in the District Edition of a Telugu Daily, on 01-01-2012, alleging
that the Government land worth Rs.50 lakhs was assigned to the petitioners by
the
3rd resondent in collusion with the Village Revenue Officer and Mandal Revenue
Inspector.  The Revenue Divisional Officer, Palvancha, the 2nd respondent
visited the place, and is said to have verified the record.  He submitted a
report to the District Collector, Khammam, the 1st respondent, pointing out
certain irregularities.

The 1st respondent issued a show cause notice dated
20-04-2012 to the petitioner, repeating the allegations contained in the report
of the 2nd respondent.  The petitioner submitted his explanation on 20-05-2012.
However, the 1st respondent passed an order dated 12-07-2012, directing
cancellation of the patta issued in favour of the petitioner. He proceeded on
the assumption that the petitioner did not submit his explanation, though show
cause notice was issued. The order dated 12-07-2012 is challenged in this writ
petition.

The petitioner submits that the patta was issued to him
on the basis of the endorsements made by the respondents
1 and 2, after verification from the revenue officials of the Village and
Mandal.  He contends that though a detailed explanation was submitted on 20-05-
2012, through registered post,
the impugned order was passed on the assumption that
no explanation was submitted.  The petitioner contends that
he developed the land by spending huge amount and has dug bore-well, etc.

This Court noticed that the 1st respondent acted in similar manner in more than
one case, for cancellation of the pattas issued in favour of Ex-servicemen, and
directed his appearance.  The 1st respondent filed W.P.M.P.No.30935 of 2012 to
dispense with his presence.  In the affidavit filed in support of the
application, the 1st respondent stated that the explanation submitted by the
petitioner was received by the inward section of his office,
long before the order was passed, but in view of the fact that the same was not
put up, the explanation was not taken into account.

Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and learned Government Pleader for
Revenue.

In the recent past, it has become a question of survival for the daily
newspapers, particularly of Telugu language in the State, and in their effort to
increase their circulation, news items are published without even verification
of facts.  In certain cases,
the local stingers are using their newspapers as a devise to blackmail the
gullible persons.  They are feeling encouraged
on account of the knee-jerk reaction exhibited by the officials of various
departments.  There are instances, where the officials are also blackmailed,
alleging acts of corruption and dishonesty.
A tendeny has also developed for the officials to be in good looks of the local
press reporters.  The case on hand presents
an example.

In case there exists any irregularity or illegality in the assignment of the
land in favour of the petitioner, the
2nd respondent ought to have verified the matter, first with the Tahsildar, the
3rd respondent, and thereafter, with the petitioner, before he arrived at any
conclusions.  It appears that the
2nd respondent wanted to settle his scores with the 3rd respondent, or that he
was not satisfied or happy with the assignment made in favour of the petitioner.
Though scores of matters are awaiting his attention in the office, he became
over active and submitted a report, pointing out several alleged irregularities.
The action of the 2nd respondent is reprehensible; and he deserves to be
cautioned, to be careful hereafter.

The 1st respondent, no doubt, issued a show cause notice to the petitioner.
However, he ought to have verified the matter with the 3rd respondent, before
taking any further steps.
The record so far placed before this Court discloses that the patta was issued
to the petitioner on the basis of an application made, way back in the year
2006, to the Chief Commissioner of Land Administration, and endorsements made by
the respondents
1 and 2.  The nature of functioning of the office of the
1st respondent is evident from the fact that though the explanation submitted by
the petitioner was received by them,
on 22-05-2012, the same was not put up with the file, and instead, the
explanation was forwarded to the Tahsildar, Aswaraopet,
the 3rd respondent, for his remarks.  In fact, the official who took such steps;
deserves to be proceeded against.  It is just ununderstandable as to how an
explanation submitted in response to a show cause notice, issued by the District
Collector can be forwarded to the Tahsildar of the Mandal.  Unfortunately, this
is the method of functioning in the office of the District Collector, and the
result cannot be different.  The impugned order was passed in patent violation
of principles of natural justice.

The writ petition is allowed, and the impugned order is set aside.  The 1st
respondent is directed to pass fresh orders,
duly taking into account, the explanation submitted by the petitioner.  It is
directed that, in case any orders adverse to the interests of the petitioner are
passed, further action shall not be taken for a period of thirty days from the
date of its service.

The miscellaneous petitions filed in this writ petition also shall stand
disposed of.  There shall be no order as costs.


_______________________  
L. NARASIMHA REDDY, J.    
Dt.17-08-2012.

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