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Thursday, August 25, 2016

whether a revision is maintainable under Section 28 of the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Abolition of Inams Act, 1955 (hereinafter, the Act of 1955), against an order passed under Section 24(1) thereof and as to whether a revision filed under Section 28 of the Act of 1955 can be converted into one under Article 227 of the Constitution, after an application filed for such conversion is withdrawn.= in JALEEL KHAN V/s. M.KAMALAMMA , a Division Bench of this Court affirmed that a revision filed under Section 115 CPC could be converted into one under Article 227 of the Constitution. This legal proposition was enunciated after extensive analysis of case law and the Division Bench opined that there is no legal bar to conversion of a revision petition filed under Section 115 CPC into one under Article 227 of the Constitution. In the light of this Division Bench judgment which continues to hold the field, the contrary view expressed by learned single Judges in NALLAMILLI SATYANARAYANA REDDY V/s. TADI VENKATA REDDY , ORIENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, LABBIPETA, VIJAYAWADA. V/s. SUNNAPPA GOVINDAMMA and MD.KUTUBUDDIN V/s. BHAIKAR RAJA MITRAJI ANAND KUMAR , to the effect that such conversion is legally impermissible, is no longer good law.- Notwithstanding the act of a party in withdrawing the application filed by it seeking conversion of a statutory revision into one under Article 227 of the Constitution, it would always be open to the Court, either suo motu or upon an application of the party, to consider whether it should exercise its plenary power and permit conversion of a statutory revision into one under Article 227 of the Constitution of India. The Registry is directed to place this revision before the learned Judge having provision to hear the matter for adjudication on merits.

THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE SANJAY KUMAR AND THE HONBLE Dr. JUSTICE B. SIVA SANKARA RAO              

CIVIL REVISION PETITION NO.1679 OF 2008    

11-08-2016

K.Chandra Sekhara Rao (died) per L.Rs. and others .. Petitioners

The District Collector, Ranga Reddy  District, Lakdika-pool, Hyderabad  and
others.. Respondents

Counsel for the petitioners: Sri T. Rajendra Prasad

Counsel for respondent Nos.9, 12, 21 & 22  :  Sri B. Venkat Rama Rao
Counsel for respondent Nos.
  1 to 8, 10, 11 and 13 to 20   :  --

<Gist:

>Head Note:    

? CASES REFERRED:    

1.  1988(2) ALT 136
2.  1997(5) ALD 26
3.  1998(1) ALD 500
4.  2004(5) ALD 644
5.  2006(3) ALT 84 = 2006(2) ALD 621
6.  2015(3) ALD 200
7.  (2010) 5 SCC 622
8.  2004(3) M.P.L.J. 438
9.  (1989) 1 SCC 643
10. (1980) 4 SCC 259
11. (2014) 9 SCC 78
12. AIR 1980 SC 892
13. 2001(5) ALD 610 (DB)
14. 1997 (2) ALT 534 = 1997 (4) ALD 684
15. 2000 (1) AWR 252
16. 2000 (1) ALT 83
17. (2007) 13 SCC 255
18. (2004) 12 SCC 278

THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE SANJAY KUMAR        
AND
THE HONBLE DR. JUSTICE B.SIVA SANKARA RAO        

CIVIL REVISION PETITION NO.1679 OF 2008    

O R D E R
(per Honble Sri Justice Sanjay Kumar)
       
        By order dated 21.01.2016, a learned Judge referred this case
to a Division Bench for an authoritative pronouncement as to
whether a revision is maintainable under Section 28 of the Andhra
Pradesh (Telangana Area) Abolition of Inams Act, 1955 (hereinafter,
the Act of 1955), against an order passed under Section 24(1)
thereof and as to whether a revision filed under Section 28 of the Act
of 1955 can be converted into one under Article 227 of the
Constitution, after an application filed for such conversion is
withdrawn.
      This reference arose mainly due to the difference of opinion on
the first issue separately expressed by two learned Judges.  In
G.V. NARSIMHA REDDY V/s. SYED AKTAR ALI , a learned Judge      
took the view that a revision under Section 28 of the Act of 1955
would lie against an order passed under Section 24(1) thereof.  A
contrary view was expressed by another learned Judge in MALTAN
SANGAIAH V/s. PATEL ESWARAPPA .  Faced with this disparity of    
opinion, a learned Judge of this Court, in JAMEDAR BHAVANI
SINGH V/s. BUDATHI BALAIAH , held that the earlier decision in
G.V. NARSIMHA REDDY1 still holds the field and therefore, the
subsequent decision in MALTAN SANGAIAH2 has to be treated as per  
incuriam.  In A.P. PUNJABI SABHA, HYDERABAD V/s. JOINT      
COLLECTOR, HYDERABAD DISTRICT , accosted with the conflicting    
views in G.V.NARSIMHA REDDY1 and MALTAN SANGAIAH2, a        
learned Judge opted to exercise power under Article 227 of the
Constitution and steered clear of the controversy as to
maintainability of a revision under Section 28 of the Act of 1955.
Again, in S.NARASIMHA V/s. JOINT COLLECTOR-II, RANGA REDDY        
DISTRICT , another learned Judge considered the revision filed
under Section 28 of the Act of 1955 as one filed under Article 227 of
the Constitution, leaving resolution of the conflict between
G.V. NARSIMHA REDDY1 and MALTAN SANGAIAH2 for appropriate        
decision by a Division Bench. This approach was again adopted in
SHIVAREDDYPALLY ANANTHAIAH V/s. THE JOINT COLLECTOR,            
R.R.DISTRICT .
      Given these conflicting views and approaches adopted by
different learned Judges of this Court, this reference was perhaps
rightly made requiring us to answer the question as to whether a
revision would be maintainable under Section 28 of the Act of 1955
against an order passed under Section 24 thereof.  The incidental
question also referred for consideration is whether a revision filed
under Section 28 of the Act of 1955 can be permitted to be converted
into one under Article 227 of the Constitution after an application for
such conversion is dismissed as withdrawn.
      Heard Sri T. Rajendra Prasad, learned counsel for the
petitioners, and Sri B. Venkata Rama Rao, learned counsel for the
contesting respondents.
      Before dealing with the issues under reference, it would be
appropriate to examine the scheme and structure of the Act of 1955.
Its Statement of Objects and Reasons indicates that the Hyderabad
Enfranchised Inams Act, 1952, was enacted to enfranchise certain
classes of Inams and to charge, in lieu of relinquishment of
reversionary rights of Government and conferment of all proprietary
rights on the Inamdars, a quit rent at 1/8th of the revenue
assessment.  However, as the Government considered that this was
not in keeping with modern trends and as the Act did not make
provision for the rights of tenants of the Inamdar while allowing
remission to the Inamdar to the extent of 7/8th of the land revenue
and as the Government felt that while compensating the Inamdar, the
rights of tenants also have to be adequately safeguarded, the Act of
1955 was promulgated for abolishing all Inams, other than Village
Service Inams and Inams held by Religious and Charitable
Institutions, while also providing for full assessment being charged
for such abolished Inams and allowing retention by the Inamdar, as
well as his tenants, of lands under their personal cultivation to the
extent of the maximum allowed under the Hyderabad Tenancy and  
Agricultural Lands Act, 1950, while providing for adequate
compensation for the lands resumed from them.
      Section 2(1)(a) of the Act of 1955, which is utmost relevant,
defines Collector to mean the Collector of a district and includes any
other officer not below the rank of a Deputy Collector, who may be
authorized by the Government by notification in the Official Gazette,
to discharge the functions of a Collector under the Act.  Presently, a
Deputy Collector would mean a Revenue Divisional Officer. Chapter
II of the Act (Sections 3 to 11) deals with abolition of Inams and
conferment of rights upon the occupant viz., Inamdar;
Kabiz-e-kadim; permanent, protected and non-protected tenants.  A
Kabiz-e-kadim is a holder of the Inam land, other than the Inamdar,
who was in possession at the time of grant of the Inam or for not less
than twelve years before the date of vesting and pays the Inamdar
only land revenue. Chapter III (Sections 12 to 22) deals with
determination, apportionment and payment of compensation.
Chapter IV (Sections 23 to 29) provides for the remedies of appeal,
reference and revision.  The concluding Chapter V deals with
miscellaneous matters and comprises Sections 30 to 37.
      We are primarily concerned with Chapter IV.  Section 23
therein provides for constitution of Special Tribunals and sets out
their powers.  The relevant provisions thereafter are extracted
hereunder:
24. Appeals from orders under Section 10 to prescribed
authority:- (1) Any person aggrieved by a decision of the
Collector under Section 10 may, within thirty days from the
date of decision, or such further time as the prescribed
authority may for sufficient cause allow, appeal to the
prescribed authority and its decision shall be final.
      (2) If any question arises whether any building or land
falls within the scope of Section 9 the same shall be referred to
the prescribed authority whose decision shall be final.
25. References to the Special Tribunals:- The Collector may,
for reasons to be recorded in writing either suo motu, or on the
application of any person interested in the compensation, refer
any case relating to the apportionment of compensation to the
decision of the Special Tribunal.
26. Appeals to the Special Tribunals:- Any person aggrieved
by any decision of the Collector under Sections 19, 20, 21 or 22
within thirty days from the date of decision, or such further
time as the Special Tribunal may for sufficient cause allow,
appeal to the Special Tribunal.
27. Appeal to the High Court:- Any person aggrieved by any
order of the Collector made under sub-section (1) of Section 18
or by any decision of the Special Tribunal under Sections 25
and 26 may, within three months from the date of the order or
decision of such further time as High Court may for sufficient
cause allow, appeal to the High Court; and the High Court shall
pass such order on the appeal as it thinks fit.
      Provided that the total compensation payable in respect
of any inam shall not be reduced by the High Court without
giving every inamdar concerned and every person, who has
made an application under sub-Section (2) of Section 17 a
reasonable opportunity of being heard.
28. Revision:- Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act
or any other law for the time being in force, an application for
revision shall lie to the High Court from any order passed or
proceedings taken by the Collector (except those referred to in
Section 24), or by the Special Tribunal under this Act on the
following grounds that the original or appellate authority:
(a)     exercise a jurisdiction not vested in it by law;
(b)     failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested; or
(c)     acted illegally or with material irregularity in following
the procedure or passing the order.
 29. Savings:- Save as otherwise provided in this Act, no order
passed by the Collector or by the Special Tribunal under this
Act shall be liable to be cancelled or modified except by the
High Court as aforesaid or be questioned in any Court of law.

        Under Section 10 of the Act of 1955, the Collector is required to
examine the nature and history of the lands in respect of which the
Inamdar; Kabiz-e-kadim; permanent, protected or non-protected
tenant, seeks  to be registered as an occupant under Sections 4, 5, 6,
7 or 8, as the case may be, and decide in whose favour and in respect
of which Inam lands, such claims should be allowed, apart from the
land revenue and the premium payable in respect of the lands.  As
the definition of Collector includes the Deputy Collector, that is, the
Revenue Divisional Officer, he is the primary authority under Section
10 of the Act of 1955.
        Similarly, under Section 17 of the Act of 1955, it is the
Collector who is to determine, in accordance with Sections 12 to 16,
the total compensation payable in respect of an Inam.  Thereunder,
the Inamdar and any other person interested may apply in writing to
the Collector for a reasonable opportunity to make his representation
in relation to determination of the compensation. Section 18 of the
Act of 1955 mandates that the Collector shall follow the procedure
prescribed therein and give due notice to all persons interested in the
compensation or in claiming a share thereof.  Again, reference to the
Collector in the aforestated two provisions means the primary
authority, viz., the Revenue Divisional Officer.  Apportionment of the
compensation by such primary authority and the procedure to be
followed in connection therewith is detailed in Sections 19 and 20 of
the Act of 1955. Section 21 deals with claims of creditors while
Section 22 relates to devolution of interest in the compensation.
        In the aforementioned statutory scheme, remedies provided in
relation to various aspects may also warrant examination.  As
regards claims for occupancy rights by the Inamdar; Kabiz-e-kadim;
permanent, protected and non-protected tenants under Sections 4, 5,
6, 7 and 8 of the Act of 1955, dealt with by the Revenue Divisional
Officer as the primary authority under Section 10 of the Act of 1955,
an appeal is provided under Section 24(1) to the prescribed authority
and the decision of such prescribed authority shall be final.
        Section 9 of the Act of 1955 deals with vesting of private
buildings and Inam lands used for non-agricultural purposes in the
persons who owned the same immediately before the date of vesting.
Whenever a question arises as to whether a building or land falls
within the scope of Section 9, it has to be referred to the prescribed
authority under Section 24(2) and the decision of such prescribed
authority is final.  Though the term prescribed authority is not
defined in the Act of 1955 in relation to Section 24(1) and (2), Rule 18
of the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Abolition of Inam Rules,
1975 (hereinafter, the Rules of 1975), sheds light on this aspect:
      18. Authority under Section 24:- (1) For the purpose of
sub-Section (1) of Section 24 the District Collector shall be the
prescribed authority.
      (2) For the purpose of sub-Section (2) of Section 24 the
Special Tribunal shall be the prescribed authority.

        As regards determination of compensation under Section 17 by
the Revenue Divisional Officer, the primary authority, the Act of 1955
does not speak of any remedy.  This is because the said provision has
to be read with Section 18, which details the procedure to be followed
by the primary authority while determining the compensation.  As
against such determination under Section 18(1), an appeal is allowed
to the High Court directly under Section 27 of the Act of 1955.
Further, under Section 25, the Collector may, for reasons to be
recorded in writing, either suo motu or on the application from any
person interested in the compensation, refer any case relating to the
apportionment of such compensation, to the Special Tribunal for its
decision.  In turn, the Special Tribunal is also empowered under
Section 26 of the Act of 1955 to entertain appeals against any orders
passed by the Revenue Divisional Officer, the primary authority, in
relation to apportionment of compensation, the procedure followed in
relation thereto, claims of the creditors and as to devolution of
interest in such compensation, under Sections 19, 20, 21 or 22.  As
against the orders passed by the Special Tribunal, be it under Section
25 or under Section 26, an appeal is provided to the High Court
under Section 27.
        It would be apposite at this stage to examine the dichotomy in
the opinion of the two learned Judges which led to this reference. In
G.V.NARSIMHA REDDY1, the revision was filed under Section 28 of  
the Act of 1955 against the order passed by the Joint Collector under
Section 24(1) of the Act of 1955.  As the issue of maintainability of
the revision was raised, the same was considered by the learned
Judge.  Observations of the learned Judge in this regard read thus:
        20. Reading Sec. 2(a) with Sec. 28, it is clear that under
Sec. 28 the Legislature wanted to prohibit a revision in cases where
an appeal lay, (this is on similar lines as Sec. 115, C.P.C.) or a
reference lay.  But the Legislature did not, in my opinion, intend to
disallow a revision to the High Court against appellate orders of the
Collector.  In as much as the R.D.O. has also become a Collector by
virtue of a delegation of power, the prohibition in Sec. 28 is only in
regard to orders of the R.D.O. which are appealable under Sec. 24(1)
to the Joint Collector or a reference is to be made under Sec. 24(2).
Notwithstanding the delegation, the Joint Collector, while dealing
with appeals, is still a Collector because of Sec. 2(a).  Hence the
words in brackets in Sec. 28, namely, except those referred to in Sec.
24 apply only to primary orders passed by the R.D.O. which are
either appealable under Sec. 24(1) or against which a reference lies
under Sec. 24(2), but not to appellate orders of the Collector (i.e.,
Joint Collector) made under Sec. 24(1) in matters concerning Sec. 10
i.e., grant of occupancy right certificates.
        21. In the present case, the impugned order of the Joint
Collector is, as held by me, one not only under Sec. 24(2) on a
reference, but also one made under Sec. 24(1) read with Sec. 10 as
an appellate authority and is clearly revisable under Sec. 28.
        22. In any event, to avoid doubts about my jurisdiction, and
having regard to the long litigation, I am inclined to exercise suo motu
powers under Art. 227 of the Constitution of India.
        23. Thus either under Sec. 28 or under Art. 227 of the
Constitution of India, the impugned order of the Joint Collector is
revisable and the objection of the respondent is rejected.

        In MALTAN SANGAIAH2 also, the revision was filed under
Section 28 against an order under Section 24 of the Act of 1955.  The
observations of the learned Judge as regards the issue of
maintainability of the revision are extracted hereunder:
        Thus, Section 28 of the Act is almost analogous to Section 115
of the C.P.C.  A combined reading of Sections 24 to 28 shows that an
appeal from the order of the primary authority passed under Section
10 lies to the prescribed authority under Section 24(1). Similarly, a
reference, in case of any dispute under Section 9, lies to the
prescribed authority under Section 24(2). In case of any dispute with
regard to the apportionment of compensation that is payable under
the Act, a reference to Special Tribunal under Section 25 and an
appeal under Section 26 lies. under Section 27, provision is made by
way of appeal to High Court from the orders of the primary authority
under Section 18(1) and further appeal from the orders of the Special
Tribunals passed under Sections 25 and 26.  Further, Section 28 is
very clear that a revision to the High Court will lie against all orders,
except those which are passed under Section 24 of the Act, of the
primary authorities or the Special Tribunals under the Act. There is
also a clear recital in Sub-section (1) as well as in Sub-section (2) of
Section 24 that orders passed by the respective authorities under
that Section are final. The provision (Section 24) is very clearly
worded and there is no ambiguity anywhere in it, thus on a reading
of Section 24 together with Section 28, it goes to show that filing of
revisions against the orders passed under Section 24 is barred.
Under the Act, the revisionary jurisdiction of this Court is amenable
to the orders other than those which are passed under Section 24.
From the above, we can gather the intention of the Legislature. It
wanted to put an end at the appellate stage itself to the litigation that
emanates between the Inamdar and tenant with regard to their
respective rights over the Inam land and that is the reason why the
Legislature in its wisdom thought that the order of the prescribed
authority/Special Tribunal under Section 24 passed in appeal must
be given a finality and that therefore no further appeal nor revision is
provided against the orders that are passed under Section 24.
Therefore, in view of the clear and unambiguous bar that is provided
in Section 28, I am of the opinion that revision does not lie to this
Court from the order of the prescribed authority under Section 24 of
the Act. At this stage, the learned Counsel for the petitioners cited a
decision reported in G.V. Narasimha Reddy v. Syed Aktar Ali, 1988
(2) ALT 136 and strongly contended that a revision against an order
Section 24 is very well maintainable in this Court. I am not inclined
to agree with the reasoning that is given in the said decision. As
already held by me, the intent of the Legislature is otherwise. It
intends to prevent filing of revisions against the orders passed under
Section 24. Therefore, I respectfully disagree with the decision cited
by the learned Counsel. Consequently, I must hold that this C.R.P. is
not maintainable and it is accordingly liable to be dismissed on this
sole ground.

        Sri B. Venkata Rama Rao, learned counsel, arguing against the
maintainability of a revision under Section 28 against an order
passed under Section 24 of the Act of 1955, would support the view
taken in MALTAN SANGAIAH2 and contend that the clear language  
in the provision would have to be given full effect and allowing a
statutory revision against orders under Section 24 would render
superfluous the words decision shall be final in both Section 24(1)
and (2).  Learned counsel would rely upon the following observations
of the Supreme Court in SATHEEDEVI V/s. PRASANNA :    
        12. Before proceeding further, we may notice two well-
recognised rules of interpretation of statutes. The first and primary
rule of construction is that the intention of the legislature must be
found in the words used by the legislature itself. If the words used
are capable of one construction, only then it would not be open to the
courts to adopt any other hypothetical construction on the ground
that such hypothetical construction is more consistent with the
alleged object and policy of the Act. The words used in the material
provisions of the statute must be interpreted in their plain
grammatical meaning and it is only when such words are capable of
two constructions that the question of giving effect to the policy or
object of the Act can legitimately ariseKanai Lal Sur v. Paramnidhi
Sadhukhan (AIR 1957 SC 907 = 1958 SCR 360).  
       13. The other important rule of interpretation is that the court
cannot rewrite, recast or reframe the legislation because it has no
power to do so. The court cannot add words to a statute or read
words which are not there in it. Even if there is a defect or an
omission in the statute, the court cannot correct the defect or supply
the omissionUnion of India v. Deoki Nandan Aggarwal (1992 Supp
(1) SCC 323) and Shyam Kishori Devi v. Patna Municipal Corporation
[(1966) 3 SCR 366].

        We are fully conscious of the golden rule of interpretation but
our endeavour presently is to understand and give harmonious effect
to all the provisions of the Act of 1955. In this context, it was pointed
out to Sri B. Venkata Rama Rao, learned counsel, that the appellate
order of the Special Tribunal under Section 26 of the Act of 1955 is
appealable to the High Court under Section 27, but Section 28
speaks of not only original authority but also appellate authority,
and the learned counsel was asked to explain as to which appellate
authoritys order would be amenable to revisionary jurisdiction under
Section 28. Thereupon, the learned counsel conceded that in the
scheme of the Act of 1955, apart from the appeal provided to the
prescribed authority, the District Collector, under Section 24(1),
appeals are permitted to the High Court under Section 27, be it
against the Collectors order under Section 18(1) or against the
appellate orders of the Special Tribunals under Section 26.  Learned
counsel adverted to the fact that reference orders passed by the
Special Tribunals under Section 25 would also be appealable to the
High Court under Section 27.  Learned counsel would contend that
as final orders, be it reference orders under Section 25 or appellate
orders under Section 26, of the Special Tribunals are appealable to
the High Court under Section 27 of the Act of 1955, reference to
appellate authority in Section 28 would be in relation to only
interlocutory orders passed by the Special Tribunals under Section
26, pending disposal of the appeal against the Collectors orders
under Sections 19 to 22.
        In SURTYOMAL V/s. SMT.CHANDABAI , a Division Bench of    
the Madhya Pradesh High Court dealt with the scope of the term
interlocutory order and opined that the revisional jurisdiction of the
High Court would extend to interference even with an interlocutory
order in the case of miscarriage of justice.  This judgment was sought
to be pressed into service in the context of the words any order in
Section 28 of the Act of 1955 and the effort of Sri B. Venkata Rama
Rao, learned counsel, is to impress upon us that use of these words
means that a revision could lie even against an interlocutory order of
the Special Tribunal, be it under Section 25 or 26, while an appeal
would lie from the final order of the Special Tribunal under the
aforestated provisions to the High Court under Section 27.
      This argument defies logic and completely loses sight of the
clear language of Section 27 which provides that an appeal lies to the
High Court against any decision of the Special Tribunal under
Sections 25 and 26 and the reference to within three months from
the date of the order or decision.  It is therefore clear that the
contemplated appeal to the High Court is not restricted to only a final
decision of the Special Tribunal, be it upon a reference under Section
25 or in an appeal under Section 26.  Even interlocutory orders
would be covered thereby. Further, it would lead to an anomalous
situation to say that a final order passed by the Special Tribunal, be
it upon a reference or in an appeal, would be appealable to the High
Court on all issues of fact and law but an interlocutory order passed
by the Tribunal would only be amenable to a revision under Section
28 on the limited grounds specified therein.  In this regard, it must
be remembered that the scope of an appeal is always wider than a
revision and the High Court, while exercising revisionary power under
Section 28 of the Act of 1955, would limit itself to only examining as
to whether the original or appellate authority exercised a jurisdiction
not vested in it by law; failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested; or
acted illegally or with material irregularity in following the procedure
or passing the order.
      The language of Section 28 may also be examined minutely.
The provision starts with a non-obstante clause indicating that the
revisionary power of the High Court thereunder is given primacy and
paramount reach so as to correct jurisdictional errors of the original
or appellate authorities under the Act of 1955.  The provision states
unequivocally that an application for revision shall lie to the High
Court from any order passed or proceedings taken by the Collector,
excepting those referred to in Section 24, or by the Special Tribunal.
Thus, what is excluded from the reach of the revisionary remedy
under Section 28 are orders passed or proceedings taken by the
Collector referred to in Section 24.  Section 24(1) speaks of the
decision of the Collector under Section 10 and permits an appeal
therefrom within 30 days to the prescribed authority and the decision
of such prescribed authority is conferred with finality.  As pointed out
hereinbefore, Rule 18(1) of the Rules of 1975 stipulates that for the
purpose of Section 24(1), the District Collector shall be the
prescribed authority.  However, reference to the primary authority in
Section 24 is by use of the word Collector and an appeal from his
decision lies to the prescribed authority.  In the light of the wider
definition giving to the term Collector under Section 2(1)(a) of the Act
of 1955, the word Collector in Section 24(1) is therefore not intended
to refer to the District Collector, the prescribed appellate authority,
but to the primary authority, the Deputy Collector (Revenue
Divisional Officer).
      Viewed thus, when the District Collector is brought in as an
appellate authority under Section 24(1) only by the description of the
prescribed authority stipulated under Rule 18(1) of the Rules of
1975, reference to an order passed by the Collector in Section 24(1)
cannot be intended to mean the order of the District Collector, the
prescribed appellate authority, but only to the order of the Collector,
the primary authority.  Similarly, Section 24(2) deals with
determination of the question as to whether any building or land falls
within the scope of Section 9 of the Act of 1955.  The issue would
necessarily have to be dealt with by the Collector, the primary
authority, which would mean the Deputy Collector/Revenue
Divisional Officer, and when a question arises before him as to
whether a particular building or land falls within the scope of Section
9 of the Act of 1955, he is required to refer it to the prescribed
authority under Section 24(2) and the decision of such prescribed
authority is conferred with finality.  Rule 18(2) of the Rules of 1975
provides that the prescribed authority for the purpose of Section
24(2) is the Special Tribunal.  Needless to state, reference by the
Deputy Collector/Revenue Divisional Officer, the primary authority,
under Section 24(2) would not be a decision but a proceeding taken
by the Collector in terms of Section 28 and is sought to be excluded
from the ambit of the revisionary remedy provided thereunder.
      The aforestated scheme therefore makes it clear that against an
order passed by the Collector, the primary authority under Section
10, only an appeal lies to the District Collector under Section 24(1)
and such a primary authoritys order is not revisable under Section
28.  Similarly, if a question as to whether a building or land falls
within the scope of Section 9 is referred to the Special Tribunal under
Section 24(2), such a reference by the Collector is not revisable
under Section 28.  Further, once the prescribed authority, being the
District Collector under Section 24(1) or the Special Tribunal under
Section 24(2), passes orders under Section 24(1) or Section 24(2)
respectively, such decisions are conferred with finality in terms of no
further appeal being provided therefrom.  However, the question is
whether jurisdictional errors, such as exercising a jurisdiction not
vested or failing to exercise a vested jurisdiction or acting illegally or
with material irregularity in following the procedure, by the
prescribed authority under Section 24(1) or under Section 24(2)
would be revisable under Section 28.
        In COMMISSIONER OF SALES TAX, U.P., LUCKNOW V/s.        
M/S. SUPER COTTON BOWL REFILLING WORKS , the Supreme          
Court was dealing with the provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Sales Tax
Act, 1948.  Section 35(5) thereof stated that the decision of the
Commissioner of Sales Tax shall, subject to an appeal to the
Tribunal, be final.  Construing the language of this provision, the
Supreme Court held that no further revision was maintainable before
the High Court against the decision of the Tribunal and that the word
final in the Section meant that it was final, subject to the limited
procedure contemplated under the Act.  This case however arose in
the context of a fiscal statute which requires a different standard of
construction and rule of interpretation and the observation therein
may perhaps not be of use while dealing with a non-fiscal statute,
such as the Act of 1955. It may also be noted that the Supreme Court
held therein that conferring finality on a decision would only indicate
shutting out in entirety a further remedy on examination of facts.
        In M/S. SRI RAJA LAKSHMI DYEING WORKS V/s.      
RANGASWAMY CHETTIAR , the distinction between appellate    
jurisdiction and revisional jurisdiction was pointed out by the
Supreme Court in the following terms:
        2. Appeal and revision are expressions of common usage in
Indian statute and the distinction between appellate jurisdiction
and revisional jurisdiction is well known though not well defined.
Ordinarily, appellate jurisdiction involves a rehearing, as it were, on
law as well as fact and is invoked by an aggrieved person. Such
jurisdiction may, however, be limited in some way as, for instance
has been done in the case of second appeal under the Code of Civil
Procedure, and under some Rent Acts in some States. Ordinarily,
again, revisional jurisdiction is analogous to a power of
superintendence and may sometimes be exercised even without its
being invoked by a party. The extent of revisional jurisdiction is
defined by the statute conferring such jurisdiction. The conferment of
revisional jurisdiction is generally for the purpose of keeping
tribunals subordinate to the revising Tribunal within the bounds of
their authority to make them act according to law, according to the
procedure established by law and according to well defined principles
of justice. Revisional jurisdiction as ordinarily understood with
reference to our statutes is always included in appellate jurisdiction
but not vice versa. These are general observations. The question of
the extent of appellate or revisional jurisdiction has to be considered
in each case with reference to the language employed by the statute.
        These observations were quoted with approval by a
Constitution Bench in HINDUSTAN PETROLEUM CORPORATION          
LTD. V/s. DILBAHAR SINGH .  
        The amplitude of a revision under Section 28 is therefore
limited by the prescriptions thereunder and the finality on facts
which attaches to orders under Section 24(1) or Section 24(2) passed
by the prescribed authorities is not negated by allowing a revisionary
remedy against such orders on limited grounds.  That apart, it is
noticed that questions relating to apportionment of compensation,
the procedure followed therefor, claims of creditors and devolution of
interest in the compensation which are dealt with by the Collector
are made appealable to the Special Tribunal and the decision of the
Special Tribunal in such appeals is further appealable to the High
Court under Section 27.  This being the case with issues relating to
compensation, it is difficult to accept that the more crucial question
relating to conferring of occupancy rights under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7
and 8 of the Act of 1955 would be left to the Collector in the capacity
of a primary authority with further appeal to the prescribed
authority, the District Collector, with no further remedy.  No doubt,
the revisionary remedy against the decision of the prescribed
authority, the District Collector, in this regard is not an appellate
remedy but is restricted to the limited grounds under Section 28, but
in the absence of such a remedy, a person aggrieved by the order
passed by the Collector in the capacity of the primary authority
under Section 10 and by the District Collector, in the capacity of the
prescribed appellate authority under Section 24(1), would have no
further remedy at all!  When substantive occupancy rights are
involved in terms of this adjudicatory process, it cannot be construed
that Legislature intended that the order of District Collector, in the
capacity of a prescribed authority in an appeal filed under Section
24(1), would have no further check or review even on limited
grounds. By allowing a revision against such a decision, finality on
facts is not belittled or diluted.
      Further, as pointed out earlier, use of the words original or
appellate authority in Section 28 of the Act of 1955 clearly indicates
that the appellate authority mentioned therein could only be a
reference to the appellate authority under Section 24(1) as all other
orders of appellate authorities are made appealable to the High Court
under Section 27.  This aspect of the matter was rightly brought out
in G.V.NARSIMHA REDDY1.  Unfortunately, in MALTAN SANGAIAH2,      
these aspects were completely overlooked and a contrary view was
expressed.  Though MALTAN SANGAIAH2 was held per incuriam in    
JAMEDAR BHAVANI SINGH3, the later decisions did not take note of  
this and continued to perceive a conflict of opinion on the issue of
maintainability of a revision under Section 28 of the Act of 1955
against orders passed under Section 24 and learned Judges adopted
the safer approach of entertaining such a revision under Article 227
of the Constitution.   In our opinion, this was wholly unnecessary as
we are in complete agreement with the view expressed in
G.V.NARSIMHA REDDY1 that the language of Section 28, given the  
scheme of the Act of 1955, is capable of only one interpretation - that
orders under Section 24(1) or Section 24(2) would be revisable by the
High Court under Section 28 of the Act of 1955.
      We therefore hold that the appellate order passed under
Section 24(1) by the prescribed authority, the District Collector, as
well as a reference order passed under Section 24(2) by the
prescribed authority, the Special Tribunal, is revisable by the High
Court in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 28 of the Act of
1955 on the limited grounds prescribed thereunder.  Beyond the
scope of such revision, such orders are conferred with finality on
purely factual aspects.
      The other issue referred to us for consideration is whether a
revision petitioner who opted to file a revision under Section 28 of the
Act of 1955 would be estopped from seeking conversion of such a
revision to one under Article 227 of the Constitution once he
withdraws the application filed by him seeking such conversion.  This
issue is answered only because it has been specifically referred to us
for consideration, as in the light of our finding on the first issue, it is
rendered purely academic.
        It is well settled that a revision under Section 115 CPC is
separate and distinct from a petition under Article 227 of the
Constitution (VISHESH KUMAR V/s. SHANTI PRASAD ).      
Significantly, in JALEEL KHAN V/s. M.KAMALAMMA , a Division    
Bench of this Court affirmed that a revision filed under Section 115
CPC could be converted into one under Article 227 of the
Constitution.  This legal proposition was enunciated after extensive
analysis of case law and the Division Bench opined that there is no
legal bar to conversion of a revision petition filed under Section 115
CPC into one under Article 227 of the Constitution. In the light of this
Division Bench judgment which continues to hold the field, the
contrary view expressed by learned single Judges in NALLAMILLI 
SATYANARAYANA REDDY V/s. TADI VENKATA REDDY ,             
ORIENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, LABBIPETA,            
VIJAYAWADA. V/s. SUNNAPPA GOVINDAMMA  and            
MD.KUTUBUDDIN V/s. BHAIKAR RAJA MITRAJI ANAND KUMAR ,            
to the effect that such conversion is legally impermissible, is no
longer good law.
      Normally, the act of a party in furtherance of a decision not to
pursue an application filed by him would thereafter be binding on
him.  However, such an act of the party in this regard would not bind
the Court.  It is always within the plenary power of the Court to
decide as to whether it should exercise power under one provision of
law or the other.  It is a settled legal position that mere mentioning of
a wrong provision of law would not bar the Court from taking
recourse to the correct provision of law so as to exercise its power
(RAM SUNDER RAM V/s. UNION OF INDIA  and N. MANI V/s.      
SANGEETHA THEATRE ).  That being so, notwithstanding the act  
of a party in withdrawing the application filed by it seeking
conversion of a statutory revision into one under Article 227 of the
Constitution, it would still be open to the Court, either suo motu or
upon an application of the party, to consider whether it should
exercise its plenary power and permit conversion of a statutory
revision into one under Article 227 of the Constitution.

      The reference is therefore answered in the following terms:
1.      The appellate order passed under Section 24(1) by the
prescribed authority, the District Collector, as well as
the reference order passed by the prescribed
authority, the Special Tribunal, under Section 24(2) is
revisable by the High Court in exercise of the power
conferred by Section 28 of the Act of 1955, on the
limited grounds prescribed thereunder.  Beyond the
scope of such revision, these orders are conferred
with finality on purely factual aspects.
2.      Notwithstanding the act of a party in withdrawing the
application filed by it seeking conversion of a
statutory revision into one under Article 227 of the
Constitution, it would always be open to the Court,
either suo motu or upon an application of the party, to
consider whether it should exercise its plenary power
and permit conversion of a statutory revision into one
under Article 227 of the Constitution of India.

      The Registry is directed to place this revision before the learned
Judge having provision to hear the matter for adjudication on merits.
______________________  
SANJAY KUMAR, J  
______________________________    
DR. B.SIVA SANKARA RAO, J    
11th AUGUST, 2016

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