P.K. Misra, J.
1. The facts giving rise to the present writ application are indicated below. The undisputed genealogy of the parties is as follows:
| | |
Achuti Rama Shyama
| | (Died issueless)
Dayanidhi | |
| Khetra Yudhistira
Prahallada | (w) Bhamamani
| Jagmohan |
_____|_________ (w) Shasimani |
| | (Petitioner No.2) Aparma
Parameswar Narayana | (Petitioner No. 3)
(OP-6) (OP-7) |
(Petitioner No. 1)
During consolidation operation, the Assistant Consolidation Officer has purported to dispose of Partition Case Nos. 25, 26, 53 and 54 of 1987 on the basis of consent of the parties concerned. Subsequently, the present petitioners filed Objection Case which was dealt with by the Consolidation Officer. The Consolidation Officer found that the so-called compromise had been signed by present petitioner No. 1 only and was not binding as it had not been signed by present petitioners 2 and 3, who admittedly had share in the disputed property. The order of the Consolidation Officer was challenged by present opposite parties 6 and 7 before the appellate authority who affirmed the order of the Consolidation Officer. Thereafter, the present opposite parties 6 and 7 carried the matter in revision to the Commissioner. The revisional authority has allowed the revision and upheld the order of the Assistant Consolidation Officer on the ground that the said order had been passed on the basis of compromise. Such order of the revisional authority is being challenged mainly on the ground that the compromise had not been signed by present petitioners 2 and 3 and, at any rate, the compromise had not been read over and explained to the other petitioner.
2. Without going into the question as to whether the compromise petition was read over and explained to present petitioner No. 1. I think the writ application is to be allowed on the short ground that the alleged compromise accepted by the Assistant Consolidation Officer had not been signed by present petitioners 2 and 3. It is no doubt true that present petitioner No. 1 who is son of petitioner No. 2 and the son of petitioner No. 3 have signed in the order-sheet. However, in the property in question all the petitioners had interest. There is nothing on record to indicate that petitioner No. 1 was, in fact, authorised agent of petitioner No. 2 and the son of petitioner No. 3 who had signed was her authorised agent. It cannot be held that the signatures given by the sons indicating their consent were binding on petitioners 2 and 3.
3. Learned counsel for opposite parties 6 and 7, however, submitted that the order of the Assistant Consolidation Officer having not been challenged in appeal became final and the petitioners had no right to file a separate Objection Case.
4. Under the scheme of the Orissa Consolidation of Holdings and Prevention of Fragmentation of Land Act, the Assistant Consolidation Officer has no jurisdiction to decide a contested matter. However, if all the parties before the authority agree, the Assistant Consolidation Officer can dispose of a matter on the basis of such compromise. Since in the present case, the alleged compromise had not been signed by two of the co-sharers, the order passed by the Assistant Consolidation Officer was not binding on them. Subsequently, objection was filed before the authority and was disposed of by the Consolidation Officer of merit. Since the order passed by the Assistant Consolidation Officer was without jurisdiction, it cannot be said that merely because appeal was not filed, the said void order was binding on the parties.
5. Learned counsel for opposite parties also submitted that several appeals and revisions had been filed and disposed of by a common order and one common writ application is not maintainable. Though such a plea was taken in the counter of opposite parties 2 and 3, the plea essentially being a technical plea, it would not be proper to reject the writ petition on such ground at this distant point of time. After all, all the matters had been disposed of by common order and even if several writ applications would have been filed only for the sake of technical propriety, one common order would have governed the cases.
6. Since the order passed by the revisional authority is not sustainable, the same is set aside and the matter is remanded to the revisional authority for fresh disposal. If any of the parties would seek opportunity to adduce further evidence, the revisional authority may consider the same and may permit the parties to adduce further evidence or it may remand the matter to the Consolidation Officer, if necessary. The matter is left to the discretion of the revisional authority. It is made clear that no opinion has been expressed regarding the merits of the contentions and it would be open to the parties to raise all contentions before the revisional authority.
7. The parties are directed to appear before the revisional authority on 26th September, 2000. The revisional authority should dispose of the matter as expeditiously as possible, preferably within a period of six months from the date of communication of this order. This order shall be communicated to the revisional authority. Necessary requisites shall be filed by Monday (28.8.2000).
There will be no order as to costs.