It is well settled position of law that if an order adversely affects any party, he has a right to challenge it. The appellant was not a party to the appeal filed by Bansi Ballabh, but by the order passed by the Settlement Officer, Consolidation in the appeal filed by Bansi Ballabh, the appellant was virtually denied access to the road. Therefore, the Deputy Director, Consolidation was justified in entertaining

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REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).394 OF 2009

Mahant Lalita Sharanji …Appellant(s)

Versus

Deoki Devi & Anr. …Respondent(s)

J U D G M E N T

Deepak Gupta J.

1. The appellant is the Mahant of Shri Mukunddevacharya

Peeth, Topi Kunj, Temple of Thakur Radhemohanji Maharaj at

Vrindavan. The temple was owner of plot bearing No. 212/2

measuring 2.48 acres. The contesting respondent no. 1 Deoki

Devi was owner of land bearing No. 319 measuring 0.44 acres.

One Bansi Ballabh [not a party to these proceedings], was the

owner of Plot No. 215 and Plot No. 216.

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2. Consolidation proceedings took place and during the course

of these proceedings, the appellant was allotted a portion of Plot

No. 212/2, a portion of Plot No. 215 and a portion of Plot No.

216. A portion of Plot No. 212/2, adjoining the road, was treated

as bachat land for use by the Gaon Sabha. It is pertinent to

mention that one Premwati (not a party to these proceedings),

was also allotted a very small portion of Plot No. 212/2. The land

reserved as bachat land for use by the Gaon Sabha and the land

allotted to Premwati adjoined the Vrindavan Chatikara main

road. Deoki Devi was also allotted a portion of Plot No. 215

measuring 0.18 acres. The appellant did not challenge the

allotment of land to the Gaon Sabha [bachat land] or the

allotment of land to Premwati.

3. Bansi Ballabh, owner of Plot No. 215 and Plot No. 216, filed

an appeal challenging the allotment of 0.18 acres of land in Plot

No. 215 in favour of Deoki Devi. It would be pertinent to mention

that the present appellant was not a party to those proceedings.

The Settlement Officer, Consolidation allowed the appeal filed by

Bansi Ballabh on 27.08.1981. However, the Settlement Officer,

Consolidation did not limit the appeal to the claim against Deoki

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Devi only. He ordered amendment of the holding table and now

Deoki Devi, who had been allotted land in Plot No. 215, was

allotted 0.17 acres of land in Plot No. 212/2, adjoining the

Vrindavan Chatikara main road. The holding of the appellant

[though he was not a party to the proceedings] was also changed

and 0.39 acres of land allotted to him in Plot No. 215 and 0.36

acres of land in Plot No. 216, were taken away and he was again

granted 0.66 acres of land in Plot No. 212/2 in addition to what

was already allotted to him. As far as the bachat land was

concerned, that was changed from Plot No. 212/2 to the northeast

corner of Plot No. 216 measuring 0.62 acre. The appellant

claims that he was unaware of this order since he was not a

party to the appeal filed by Bansi Ballabh.

4. The appellant filed a restoration application before the

Settlement Officer, Consolidation and, at the same time, filed a

revision petition before the Deputy Director, Consolidation

against the order dated 27.08.1981. The restoration application

was dismissed by the Settlement Officer, Consolidation mainly on

the ground that since the appellant had not challenged the

reduction of his holding in Plot No. 212/2 in the first round of

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consolidation proceedings wherein the front portion of his plot

had been reserved as bachat land for use by the Gaon Sabha, he

was not entitled to challenge the same in the second round.

However, the Deputy Director, Consolidation allowed the revision

filed by the appellant on 13.12.1983. Before the Deputy Director,

Consolidation, Bansi Ballabh, Hari Vallabh, Deoki Devi and the

Gaon Sabha were all parties. Premwati was also made a party to

the proceedings subsequently. Notices were sent but the

respondent Deoki Devi and Premwati were proceeded ex parte

and the revision was allowed. By the amended table of holding,

the appellant was allotted Plot No. 212/2, which was his original

holding and both Premwati and Deoki Devi were allotted land in

Plot No. 216.

5. Thereafter, Premwati and Deoki Devi both filed restoration

application before the Deputy Director, Consolidation, who

rejected the same on the ground that both of them had been duly

served. The Deputy Director, Consolidation also noted that Deoki

Devi was not ready to take back her original plot i.e. Plot No. 319

and he upheld the allotment of land to her in Plot No. 216.

Aggrieved, Deoki Devi filed a writ petition in the Allahabad High

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Court, which was allowed by the impugned judgment mainly on

the ground that since the appellant herein had accepted the

allotment of front portion of Plot No. 212/2 to the Gaon Sabha

and Premwati, he having lost title to the property could not object

to the grant of the same to Deoki Devi especially since he has not

filed an appeal against the original order.

6. We have heard learned counsel for the parties. The main

contention urged on behalf of the appellant is that since the main

portion of Plot No. 212/2 was reserved as bachat land, to be

allotted to the Gaon Sabha, which the appellant could have also

utilised, he had not objected to the same. It is submitted that in

the appeal filed by Bansi Ballabh, the original order of allotment

was virtually set aside and even the lands allotted to the

appellant in Plot No. 215 and Plot No. 216 were taken back from

him and thereafter, the Respondent No. 1, Deoki Devi was

allotted the front portion of Plot No. 212/2 adjoining the road and

this gave the appellant a fresh cause of action. It is also urged

that in the writ petition filed by Deoki Devi she had made an

averment on affidavit that she wants her original holding

[obviously Plot No. 319] provided she is given compensation of

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Rs.20,000/-. Therefore, the writ court could not have granted

relief to her beyond what she had prayed.

7. On the other hand, learned counsel for Respondent No.1,

Deoki Devi, after referring to Section 9(2) and 11-A of the U.P.

Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1953 (for short ‘the Consolidation

Act’), submits that once the appellant had accepted the original

order, he was no longer the owner of the land and he could not

challenge the subsequent order.

8. Section 9(2) of the Consolidation Act provides that any

person to whom notice has been sent under Section 9(1), has to

file objections before the Assistant Consolidation Officer within a

period of 21 days from the date of receipt of the notice. Section

11-A of the Consolidation Act provides that no question in

respect of claims to land etc. relating to a consolidation area

which might or ought to have been raised under Section 9(2) and

were not raised at that stage, can be permitted to be raised or

heard at subsequent stage of consolidation proceedings. The

purpose of these two provisions is to ensure that when a draft

scheme is prepared or notice of allotment of land is issued, then

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if a person has any objection to the same, he must file his

objection at that stage and if he does not file the same, he cannot

be permitted to raise these objections at a later stage. This is a

well settled position of law.

9. Each case has to be decided on its own facts. In the present

case, the appellant had not objected to grant of a very small

portion of land to Premwati and allotment of the front portion of

the land as bachat land to be used by the Gaon Sabha. In this

case, Bansi Ballabh, owner of Plot No. 215 and Plot No.216, filed

appeal. Though this appeal was limited to challenging the

allotment made to Deoki Devi, the Settlement Officer,

Consolidation, while allowing the appeal, virtually nullified the

original consolidation order and took away the land allotted to

the appellant in Plot No. 215 and Plot No. 216 and re-allotted him

his land in Plot No. 212/2, allotted land to the Gaon Sabha in

Plot No. 216 and allotted the front portion of the land in Plot No.

212/2 to Premwati and Deoki Devi. We have perused the map

[Annexure P-6] and from this it is clear that the appellant would

have had access to the road when the land was allotted to the

Gaon Sabha as bachat land. The appellant could have also used

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the land and his access to the road would not have been affected,

had that portion of the land been not allotted to Deoki Devi. This

order virtually nullified the earlier order and, therefore, the

appellant was well within his rights to challenge the order passed

by the Settlement Officer, Consolidation in the appeal filed by

Bansi Ballabh. It is well settled position of law that if an order

adversely affects any party, he has a right to challenge it. The

appellant was not a party to the appeal filed by Bansi Ballabh,

but by the order passed by the Settlement Officer, Consolidation

in the appeal filed by Bansi Ballabh, the appellant was virtually

denied access to the road. Therefore, the Deputy Director,

Consolidation was justified in entertaining the revision filed by

the appellant herein and making re-allotments, as indicated

hereinabove.

10. It has been contended by the appellant that the original

holding of Deoki Devi in Plot No. 319 was almost 2 kilometres

away. It may be true that she has been allotted a smaller portion

of land but the purpose of the Consolidation Act is to prevent

fragmentation of a holding and to have one common holding.

The Deputy Director, Consolidation rightly allowed the revision.

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11. We are of the considered view that the High Court erred in

holding that the appellant had no right to challenge the order of

the Settlement Officer, Consolidation in the appeal filed by Bansi

Ballabh because he had not challenged the original order in

original proceedings whereby the front portion of the land was

treated as bachat land. As we have pointed out above, the

second order virtually nullified the earlier order and this gave a

fresh cause of action to the appellant and he could challenge the

same. As far as Premwati is concerned, she did not challenge the

order passed by the Deputy Director, Consolidation. We also find

that the writ court did not take into consideration the averments

made in Para 23 of the writ petition wherein Deoki Devi had

prayed that she should be re-allotted Plot No. 319 and granted

Rs.20,000/- as compensation for the construction she had raised

in Plot No. 212/2.

12. In view of the above discussion, we set aside the order of the

High Court and restore the order passed by the Deputy Director,

Consolidation.

13. The respondent, Deoki Devi is directed to remove the entire

construction at her own cost and hand over vacant and peaceful

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possession of the land to the appellant within 30 days from today

failing which the appellant can take assistance of the Court to

take possession of the land and building in which event, Deoki

Devi will not be entitled to the cost of the structure or any other

damages.

14. The appeal is allowed in the aforesaid terms.

………………………..J.

(Madan B. Lokur)

…………………………J.

(Deepak Gupta)

New Delhi

February 16, 2018