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Land & Rent Law

1

ROLE AND STATUS
OF
RENT CONTROLLER

&

CLASSES AND POWERS
OF
REVENUE OFFICERS




Submitted To: Submitted By:
Dr. Nancy Sharma Harkiran Singh Brar
87/10
VI
th
Semester
Land & Rent Law
2

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I owe a great many thanks to a great many people who helped and supported me during the
writing of this project.
My deepest thanks to my Lecturer, Dr. Nancy Sharma, the Guide of the project for guiding
me and correcting various documents of mine with attention and care. She has taken pain to
go through the project and make necessary corrections as and when needed.
I would also thank my Institution and my faculty members without whom this project would
have been a distant reality. I also extend my heartfelt thanks to my family and well-wishers.


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CONTENTS

ROLE AND STATUS OF RENT CONTROLLER

1. Controller
2. Appointment
3. Duties of Controller
4. Status of Controller



CLASSES AND POWERS OF REVENUE OFFICERS

1. Classes of Revenue Officers (Section 6)
2. Financial Commissioners (Section 7)
3. Appointment (Sections 8 & 9)
4. Powers (Sections 10 12)
5. Appeal, Review & Revision (Sections 13 16)

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Role and Status of the Controller
(UNDER EAST PUNJAB URBAN RENT RESTRICTION ACT 1949)
Controller
Section 2(b) of the Act defines the term Controller as: "`Controller means any person who is
appointed by the Stale Government to perform the functions of a controller under the Act".
The first Court in which proceedings are to be initiated under the Rent Act is the Controller.
Since this designation is used in the context of the Rent Act a Controller is commonly
addressed as Rent Controller under the Act.
The State Government under the Act, is vested with the power of appeasing any person as
Controller. Since the Act did not envisage a particular civil servant of the state as Controller,
the State could entrust the functions of the controller under the Act to any person.
Appointment
In pursuance of Clause (b) of Section 2 of the 1947 Act, the Governor of Punjab appointed,
all First Class Subordinate Judges to perform function of Controller within the limits of their
civil jurisdiction.
In Lakhi Ram v Sagar
1
, it has been held that the notification has not been superseded and is
still valid. By notification No. 1562-cr-47/9228 dated 18.4.1947, All District Judges in
Punjab in their respective jurisdiction were appointed Appellate Authority under the Act.
In Sunder Singh v Budh Dev
2
, it that despite the repeal of the 1947 Act by Section 21 of the
1949 Act, this notification continued to be in force by virtue of Section 22 of the Punjab
General Act, 1898.
In Chandigarh, vide notifications No. 4612-LD-7816S42 and 6843 doted 25.11.1972, first
class subordinate judges have been appointed as Caftans and the District Judge as Appellate
Authority under the Act on the Punjab pattern.
Duties of Controller
The duties assigned to the Controller under the Act primarily concern the resolution of
dispute between one person and another in relation to the conditions upon which the property
of one could be held by the other. He has the duty to fix the rent of the premises if called
upon by the parties to do so. He has to decide whether a tenant is liable for eviction from the
premises on the asking of the landlord under any one of the provisions of the Act. He has the
duty to impose penalty on the erring party for violation of one or the other provisions of the

1
(1963) 65 P.L.R 691
2
1971 RCJ 12
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Act. In Mahi Dass v Nagar Mal
3
, it has been has held that the Rent Controllers would do
well to confine themselves to decide matters under the Act, and not deciding rival claims of
title in property under the guise of ejectment application under the Act. Thus it is not in the
purview of a controller to decide the question of title to a property. He is to confine himself to
discharge the duties enjoined upon him under the Act only.
Status of the Controller
What is the Status of the Controller under the Act? Is it a civil Court or not?
This has been the matter of controversy till date. At the earliest, in Pitman's Shorthand
Academy v M/s. Lila Ram and Sons
4
, a Full Bench of the East Punjab High Court had held
that the Controller under the Act is persona designated i.e. it is a designated Court and not a
Civil Court. For corning to this conclusion, the Full Bench had emphasized that since 'any
person' could be appointed Controller by the Government, therefore, it is not a Civil Court. It
was further held that the Controller is not to follow the procedure under the Civil Procedure
Code. He is expected to observe the elementary and fundamental principles of judicial
enquiry to ensure the rudimentary requirement of fair play. He is at liberty to devise such
procedure for ascertaining the facts on which he is to act or decide. (Manohar Lal v Mohan
Lal
5
)
However, in Vidya Devi v Firm Madan Lol Prem Kumar
6
, another Full Bench of the High
Court has held that the Rent Controller and the Appellate Authority are civil courts for the
purpose of Sections 195 (1)- (b), 476 and 479 A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In K.
Khalapathi Rao v B.N.Reddy
7
, it has been held that the Controller is a Court subordinate to
the High Court for the purpose of Section 3 of the Contempt of Courts Act.
In Ram Dass v Smt. Sukhdev Kaur
8
, a division bench of the High Court has held that
Controller and Appellate Authority are not Courts Stricto Sensu but are persona designata.
In Kishori Lal v Radha Rani Gupta
9
, it has been held that Section 10 of C.P.C is
inapplicable to the proceedings before the Controller as the Rent Controller is persona
designata and not a Civil Court. The decision in Ramm Dasss case has been reiterated in Lal
Chand v Kishan Murari Goel
10
, by holding that C.P.C is not applicable under the Rent Act.
The decision of the Controller to permit the recall of a witness was upheld as he is to devise
his own procedure in the absence of the applicability of the C.P.C.

3
(1965) 67 P.L.R 35
4
(1950) 52 PLR 1
5
(1957) 59 P.L.R 38
6
AIR 1971 P & H 150
7
1971 RCJ 164
8
AIR 1981 P & H 301
9
1993 (1) RCR 1 P & H
10
1995 (1) RCR 274 P & H
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In Imtiaz Ahmed v M/s. Taba Exports
11
, the Karnataka High Court has held that since the
Rent Controller is not a Court, it has no inherent power under Section 151 of the C.P.C. But a
Division Bench of Kerala High Court in P. Krishnankutty Nair v Accommodation
Controller
12
, where the Tehsildar who was the Accommodation Controller under the Rent
Act had allowed the Tenant to carry out some repairs on certain conditions and the tenant
made replacements in violation of the order, the High Court has held that the Court of
Controller dies not become functus officio. He can direct demolition of the unauthorized
construction because the Court has the inherent power to pass any order to ensure power
implementation of its order.
But the Supreme Court now has held in Mukri Gopalan v Cheppilat P. Aboobacker
13
, that
the Appellate Authority under the Kerala Act, functions as Court (though not fully fledged
Civil Court) and not as persona designata. The Court added to say that it will be persona
designata, if the powers are conferred on a named person or authority and these powers
cannot be exercised by anybody else. When powers are conferred on the District Judge by a
notification and the District Judge is a Court, therefore, the provisions of the limitation Act
get telescoped into special or local law.
The above decision of the Supreme Court has been followed by a Division Bench of the
Kerala High Court in Balakrishnan v Mariyamma
14
, to hold that Rent Controller under the
Act is not persona designata. But it has further held that it is not a Civil Court for the purpose
of Section 115 of the C.P.C.
From the above, it may be concluded that the Rent Controller is not a Court stricto sensu but
it is also not persona designata pure and simple. In view of the fact that judicial officers
working as Courts are assigned the duties under the Act, by virtue of the notifications by the
competent authority, therefore they continue to be courts very well.









11
1996 (1) RCR Karnataka
12
1997 (1) RCR 117 Kerala
13
1995 (2) RCR 323 S.C (Kerala Act)
14
1997 (1) RCR 326 Kerala
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Revenue Officers

(Under The Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887)
Classes & Powers
Classes of Revenue Officers (Section 6)
1. Classes of Revenue Officers:
Section 6 (1) provides that there shall be the following classes of Revenue-officers, namely: -
a) The Financial Commissioner;
b) The Commissioner;
c) The Collector;
d) The Assistant Collector of the first grade; and
e) The Assistant Collector of the second grade.

Section 6(2) provides that the Deputy Commissioner of a District shall be the Collector
thereof.

Jurisdiction and Appointment of Revenue Officers

Section 6(3) of the Act prescribes that the State Government may appoint any Assistant
Commissioner, extra Assistant Commissioner or Tehsildar to perform the function and duties
of Assistant Collector First Grade or Second Grade as the case may be. The Naib-Tehsildar
may be appointed as Assistant Collector, Second Grade to discharge duties under this Act.
Section 6(4), further empowers the Government to appoint any person co-person by
designation or name by way of notification as Revenue Officer or Officer.

Section 6(5) lays down the jurisdiction of the Revenue Officers. The Financial
Commissioners jurisdiction extends to the whole of the territories of State government of
Punjab.

The Commissioner and Collector and Assistant Collectors have the jurisdiction to their
respective division and district in which they are employed.
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Financial Commissioners:

(Section 7)

1) There shall be one or more Financial Commissioners, who shall be appointed by
the State Government.


2) Where more Financial Commissioners than one have been appointed, the State
Government may make rules as to the distribution among them of business under
this or any other Act, and by those rules require any case or class or classes of
cases to be considered and disposed of by the Financial Commissioners
collectively.

3) When there is a difference of opinion among the Financial Commissioners as to
any decree or order to be made in a case which they are required by rules under
the last foregoing sub-section to consider, and dispose of collectively, the
following rules shall apply, namely : -

a) Where the case is an appeal or a case on review or revision, it shall be
decided in accordance with the opinion of the majority of the Financial
Commissioners, or if there is no such majority which concurs in a decision
modifying or reversing the decree or order under appeal, review or revision
, that decree or order shall be affirmed; and

b) Where the case is not an appeal or a case on review or revision, the matter
respecting which there is the difference of opinion shall be referred to
the [State Government] for decision and the decision of that
Government with respect thereto shall be final.

4) The expression Financial Commissioner in this or any other Act shall, when
there are more Financial Commissioners than one , be construed as meaning one
or more of the Financial Commissioners as the rules for the time being in force
under sub-section (2) may require.

5) The second Financial Commissioner appointed under section 52 of the Punjab
Courts Act, 1884 shall be deemed to have had jurisdiction on and after the first
day of November , 1884, to make, any decree or order or dispose of any other
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business which might have been made or disposed of by the other Financial
Commissioner.

APPOINTMENT

(Section 8)
Appointment of Commissioners and of Deputy, Assistant and Extra Assistant
Commissioners - Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners and
Extra Assistant Commissioners shall be appointed by the State Government.

(Section 9)

Appointment of Tahsildars and Naib-Tahsildars: - The State Government shall fix the
number of Tahsildars and Naib-Tahsildars to be appointed.

POWERS

(Section 10)

Powers of Revenue-officers: - Except where the class of the Revenue-officer by whom any
function is to be discharged is specified in this Act, the State Government may, by
notification determine the functions to be discharged under this Act by any class of Revenue-
officers.


ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL
(Section 11)
Superintendence and control of Revenue-officers: -
1) The Financial Commissioner shall subject to the control of the State Government.
2) The general superintendence and control over all other Revenue officers shall be
vested in, and all such officers shall be subordinate to the Financial
Commissioner.
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3) Subject to the general superintendence and control of the Financial Commissioner,
a Commissioner shall control all other Revenue-officers in his division.

4) Subject as aforesaid and to the control of the Commissioner, a Collector shall
control all other Revenue-officers in his district.

The Crux of this section implies 3 things:

General:

In Radha Swami Satsang, Beas v State of Himachal Pradesh
15
, the Court observed that the
placement of Sections 11 & 12 under heading Administrative Control and Sections 13 to 16
under heading Appeal, Revenue & Revision bring out legislative intention of maintaining a
clear demarcation between different powers exercisable by superior Revenue Officers over
inferior Revenue Officers. The Court further held that some say of superior Revenue Officers
are confirmed with supervisory powers over Revenue Officers placed lower in hierarchy
under various provisions, the basic and the essential distinction between nature and character
of supervisory powers.

Standing Orders:

In Mohan Singh v the Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab
16
, it is held that the
status of standing orders issued by the Financial Commissioner under this Act is not more
than that to administrative directions or executive orders, the standing orders can only be
issued because of the general powers of the Superintendence granted to the Financial
Commissioner under Section 11. The Court further observed that whenever there is a conflict
between the Financial Commissioners Standing Orders and the Statutory Rules framed under
the Act then the Statutory Rules must be given precedence over the standing orders.

Superintendence and Control:

The State Government has complete Superintendence and control of the power, function and
duties of the Financial Commissioner. In other words the Financial Commissioner shall be
subject to the control of the State Government.


15
1984 PLJ 535
16
1966 PLR 377
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All the revenue officers in the division are subject to the general superintendence and control
of the Commissioner and Revenue Officer in the State of Punjab are subject to the control of
the Financial Commissioner.

The Collector shall control all other revenue officers in his district subject to the control of
the Commissioner.

Power to distribute business and withdraw and transfer cases:-
Section (12)
1) The Financial Commissioner or a Commissioner or Collector may by written
order distribute, in such manner as he thinks fit, any business cognizable by any
Revenue-officer under his control.
2) The Financial Commissioner or a Commissioner or Collector may withdraw any
case pending before any Revenue-officer under his control, and either dispose of it
himself, or by written order refer it for disposal to any other Revenue-officer
under his control.
3) An order under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall not empower any officer to
exercise any powers or deal with any business which he would not be competent
to exercise or deal with within the local limits of his own Jurisdiction.

The crux of this section implies 3 things:
Distribution of Work:
The distribution of work is purely based on administrative expediency. The Financial
Commissioner or a Collector may by written order distribute any business cognizable by any
Revenue Officer under his control as he deems fit.
Transfer of Cases:
In the transfer of cases, it is not necessary that a party to the litigation move an application,
the revenue officer may act suo moto. The power to transfer should be exercised diligently
and with application of mind.
The following are the factors relevant to be considered at the time of transfer of a case:
Pendency of case in the Subordinate Court
The officer to whom, case is to be transferred have the competence and jurisdiction to
try it.

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Withdrawal of Case:
The higher Revenue Officer may withdraw a case from the subordinate officer and then they
may decide it himself or transfer to any other subordinate officer who is competent to decide
it.

Appeal, Review and Revision
Appeals: -
(Section 13)
Save as otherwise provided by this Act, an appeal shall lie from an original or appellate order
of a Revenue-officer as follows, namely: -

a) to the Collector when the order is made by an Assistant Collector of either grade;
b) to the Commissioner when the order is made by a Collector;
c) to the Financial Commissioner when the order is made by a Commissioner:

Provided that--
i. when an original order is confirmed on first appeal, a further appeal shall not
lie;
ii. when any such order is modified or reversed on appeal by the Collector, the
order made by the Commissioner on further appeal, if any, to him shall be final.

The crux of this section can be explained under 7 heads:

Meaning and Scope:

In Amerheri Co-op. Society v. State of Haryana
17
, the Court held that right to appeal is a
creation of statute. The provisions are not arbitrary; right of an appeal is a statutory right and
the legislature, in its wisdom, may in the circumstances of the given case, provide for an
appeal against an order of quasi-judicial nature and in other given case the said remedy of
appeal may not be appealable.

In Kartar Kaur v State of Haryana
18
, the Court held that right of appeal is a vested right
and is given by law prevailing on the date of institution of suit or proceedings and not on the

17
1976 PLJ 302 (P & H)
18
1985 RRR 615 (P & H)
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date of filing appeal. This vested right of appeal can be taken away by a subsequent
enactment only if it so provides expressly or by necessary intendment and not otherwise.

In Seth Nand Law v State of Haryana
19
, the Supreme Court held that the legislature while
granting right of appeal can impose conditions for exercise of such right but conditions
should make reasonable right of appeal almost illusory.

In Darshan Singh v Rampal Singh
20
, the Supreme Court held that an appeal is a
continuation of suit and any change in law between date of decree and decision of appeal
should be taken into consideration.

An order passed by the Assistant collector in exercise of its original jurisdiction is appealable
before the Collector and the original order passed by the Collector is appealable before the
Commissioner. An order confirmed in first appeal is final and under no circumstances,
second appeal is maintainable.

In Munshi Ram v The Collector, Agrarian, (SDM Civil), Palwal
21
, the Financial
Commissioner, Haryana, held that the only cases which can come before the Financial
Commissioner in appeal are those in which Commissioner has modified or reversed original
orders passed by Collectors.

In Santa Singh v Smt Rana
22
, it was held that the orders sanctioning mode of partition is an
appealable order.

In Kartar Kaur v State of Haryana
23
, the Court held that the right of appeal is a substantive
right and can be availed of subject to statutory requirement.

In Smt. Balbir Kaur v Financial Commissioner, Punjab
24
, the Court held that it is not
proper to apply blindly the Principles of Appeals and Revision arising out of civil suits under
the C.P.C to appeals and revisions arising out of orders under the Punjab Security of Land
Tenures Act, 1953.

19
1980 PLJ 470
20
1991 (1) RRR 167(S.C)
21
1981 PLJ 71 (FCH)
22
1975 PLJ 378 FCP
23
1985 RRR 615 (P & H)
24
1970 PLJ 115
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Appeals in partition cases:

In Santa Singh v Smt. Rana
25
, it was held that the orders sanctioning mode of partition is an
appealable order.

In Harjas v Daya Ram and Others
26
, the Assistant Collector sought permission from the
Collector for amending the mode of partition, sanction was given by the Collector under
Section 15 of the Act to the proposal submitted to him by the Assistant Collector first grade
to the effect that he be allowed to amend the mode of partition in certain manner. Order of
Collector does not constitute an order, which is appealable under Section 13. The aggrieved
party can proceed to seek legal remedies only after the Assistance Collector after review has
passed another order sanctioning the mode of partition.

In Chiranji v Inder Singh
27
, it was held that the cross objections filed against the partition
ends automatically with the withdrawal of appeal by the appellant. The provisions of C.P.C
are not applicable, as such, the cross objection cannot be treated as appeal.

Appeals in Lambardari cases:

In Nand Lal v Gurunditta and Others
28
, it was held that where the choice of the Collector
is appointment of Lambardar, is patently against the Land Revenue rules and not in best
public interest, such type of order appointing the Lambardar can be upset in appeal by higher
Revenue Officer.

In Umed Singh v Muriga Ram
29
, it was held that the choice of Collector in appointing
Lambardar cannot be interfered in appeal with unless it is be proved that his reasoning is
perverse or that he had committed illegality in passing the order.

Appeal in Mutation cases:

In Gurmail Kaur v Prem Kumar
30
, the Court held that an appeal shall lie against the order
sanctioning or refusing the mutation.


25
Supra Note 22
26
1978 PLJ 83
27
1950 to 1988 LJR (Rev.) 55
28
1983 PLJ 78
29
1992 (1) LJR 593
30
1970 PLR 365
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Appeal against entries of Khasra Girdawaris:

In Bhagwan Dass v Secretary of State of India
31
, it was held that an older of the Revenue
Officer under Section 36 of the Act, for determining the entries to be made in the record of
rights or its making or revision of such entries, disputes and determination is appealable.

Abatement:

The general principle is that appeal does not automatically abate with the death of the
appellant, if right to sue survives in the heirs.

Limitation:

In Lal Singh v Badan Singh
32
, it was held that where the appellant died during the pendency
of appeal, there is no abatement of the appeal. The legal heirs can pursue the appeal.

The period of limitation starts from the date of order and not from the date of knowledge.
Hence Section 5 of the Limitation Act is applicable and the person aggrieved can take the
benefit of the same.

Limitation for Appeals:-
(Section 14)
Save as otherwise provided by this Act, the period of limitation for an appeal under the last
foregoing section shall run from the date of the order appealed against, and shall be as
follows that is to say-
a) the appeals lies to the Collectorthirty days;
b) when the appeal lies to the Commissionersixty days;
c) when the appeal lies to the Financial Commissionerninety days;

31
4 PR 1883 (Rev.)
32
1968 PLJ 61
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The crux of this section can be summed up under 2 headings:

Meaning and Scope:

The period of limitation is 30 days when the appeals lie to the Collector is 60 days when it
lies to the Commissioner and 90 days when it lies to the Financial Commissioner.

In Hari Ram v Laiqus
33
, it was held that the period of limitation will be counted from the
communication of an order and not from the date of the order.

In Rama Phula Singh v Gurpreet Singh
34
, the Financial Commissioner, Punjab held that the
period of limitation starts to run from the date on which the order or decree as communicated
and not from the date of such order or decree.

In Raghubir Singh v State of Haryana
35
, the Court held that where a person is not a party to
the other then the limitation against such a party is not to start from the date of order but from
the date of knowledge.

In Manmohan Singh v Gokal Chand
36
, it was held that the period of limitation for an appeal
under Section 14 of the Act starts from the day on which order appealed against was
pronounced and not from the day on which the appellant came to know of its pronouncement.

Condonation of delay:

The appellant can take the benefit of Section 5 of the Limitation Act. But he has to satisfy the
Appellate Court the sufficient cause.

In Joginder Singh v Daljit Singh
37
, it was held that the proof of sufficient cause is a
condition precedent for the exercise of the discretionary jurisdiction vested in the Court under
Section 5 of the Limitation Act.




33
1958 PLJ 24 (FCP)
34
1955 LLT 17 (FCP)
35
1980 PLJ 573
36
1959 PLJ 13
37
1979 RRR 369
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Review by Revenue-officers:

(Section 15)
1) A Revenue-officer may, either of his own motion or on the application of any
party interested, review, and on so reviewing modify, reverse or confirm, any
order passed by himself or by any of his predecessors in office :

Provided as follows: -
a) when a Commissioner or Collector thinks it necessary to review any order
which he has not himself passed, and when a Revenue-officer of a class
below that of Collector proposes to review any order whither passed by
himself or by any of his predecessors in office, he shall first obtain the
sanction of the Revenue-officer to whose control he is immediately subject

b) an application for review of an order shall not be entertained unless it is
made within ninety days from the passing of the order, or unless the
applicant satisfies the Revenue-officer that he had sufficient cause for not
making the application within that period ;

c) an order shall not be modified or reversed unless reasonable notice has
been given to the parties affected thereby to appear and be heard in
support of the order ;

d) An order against which an appeal has been preferred shall not be reviewed.

2) For the purposes of this section, the Collector shall be deemed to be the successor
in office of any Revenue-officer of a lower class who has left the district or has
ceased to exercise powers as Revenue-officer, and to whom there is no successor
in office.
3) An appeal shall not lie from an order refusing to review or confirming on review a
previous order.
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The crux of this section can be explained under the following headings:

Meaning and Scope:

Section 15 provides for the review of the orders passed by the Revenue Officers.

In Gurbaksh Singh v Joginder Singh
38
, the Financial Commissioner, Punjab held that the
scope of review is very limited and is confined to correcting error on the face of the record.

Procedure:

The Revenue Officer has the power to review its own order and those of his predecessors,
provided no appeal has been filed again such an order but this power is subject to the prior
permission of the higher Revenue Officers. The application for review can only be
entertained when such an application is presented within 90 days of the date of the order but
there is no period of limitation prescribed when the Revenue Officer is reviewing his own
order on his own motion. No appeal lies against an order refusing to review or confirming on
review, a previous order.

Opportunity of Hearing:

In Bachittar Singh v Dhani Ram
39
, the Financial Commissioner held that it is the mandatory
requirement of section 15 (1) (c) that reasonable opportunity be given by the Revenue Officer
before order is being modified or reversed while exercising the power of review.

Similarly, the Financial Commissioner in Ved Parkash v The State of Punjab
40
, held that an
order cannot be reviewed under Section 15 of the Act unless notice was issued to the parties
affected.

Power to call for examine and revise proceedings of Revenue-officers:
(Section 16)
1) The Financial Commissioner may at any time call for the record of any case
pending before, or disposed by, any Revenue officer subordinate to him.


38
1986 PLJ 75
39
1986 RRR 76 (FCHP)
40
1970 PLJ 244
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2) A Commissioner or Collector may call for the record of any case pending before,
or disposed of by, any Revenue officer under his control.

3) If in any case in which a Commissioner or Collector has called for a record he is
of opinion that the proceedings taken or order made should be modified or
reversed, he shall report the case with his opinion thereon for the orders of the
Financial Commissioner.

4) The Financial Commissioner may in any case called for by himself under sub-
section (1) or reported to him under sub-section (3) pass such order as he thinks fit

Provided that he shall not under this section pass an order reversing or
modifying any proceeding or order of a subordinate Revenue-officer and
affecting any question of right between private persons without giving those
persons an opportunity of being heard.

The crux of this section implies the following:

Revisional jurisdiction and its scope:

Section 16 provides for power of revision of the Financial Commissioner and the
Commissioner. This power of revision of Financial Commissioner and the Commissioner is
very wide and unfettered.

Section 16 does not lay down the period of limitation for filing the revision.

In Bhagwana v Financial Commissioner, Haryana
41
, it was held that the Financial
Commissioner being the final authority in the hierarchy of Revenue Officers/Courts, is under
a statutory obligation to examine the merits of the case and pass a speaking order answering
the last of a quasi-judicial order.

Under Section 16 of the Act, the revisional authority (1) can pass any order and (2) at any
stage of proceedings or against final order passed by any Revenue Officer subordinate to him
in relation to any proceedings or order passed under the Act.


41
2000 (3) RCR (Civil) 298 (P & H)
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There is a vast scope for interference in revisional cases under the Act. In Joginder Singh v
Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab
42
, it was held that the scope of powers of
Financial Commissioner is wider U/S of the Act. The Financial Commissioner can go into the
question of fact as well as law. Only rider on the power of the Financial Commissioner is that
he has to provide an opportunity of hearing to the interested persons. There is no other
impediment on his power of setting aside the order of the Sub-ordinate Officer. The High
Court observed that the power of Financial Commissioner is wider than the revisional power
of the High Court under Section 115 C.P.C

Commissioners power of revision:

In Kamla Devi v Rajkumar
43
, it was held that the Commissioner can only call for the record
of the proceedings pending before or disposed of by any officer under his control. If the
Commissioner after notice and affording of opportunity of being heard to the parties
examining the record is of the opinion that proceedings taken or order passed by any Revenue
Officer subordinate to him deserve to be modified or revised, then he can recommend the
case to Financial Commissioner, who is only competent to accept or reject the revision
petition. The Commissioner has no power to pass an order in revision.

Amendment of Section 16:

In Baldev Singh v The Financial Commissioner, Haryana
44
, the Court held that the effect
of Amendment to Section 16 (3) and (4) as amended vide Punjab Land Revenue (Haryana
Amendment) Act, 1996 is that Commissioner need not to make recommendation to Financial
Commissioner for acceptance of revision petition filed before him. He can himself take
decision of same without making any reference which was earlier required to be made.

In Chander Parkash v Laxmi Naranjan
45
, the Court held that the Financial Commissioner
will refuse to interfere when a revision petition is made after the period assigned for an
appeal unless for reasons which would justify for the extension for the period of the
limitation.

Section 16 was amended in the year 1998 vide Punjab Act No. 14 of 1998. A controversy
arose to whether a revision petition is maintainable before the Financial Commissioner after

42
2003 (2) RCR (Civil) 461 (P & H)
43
1967 PLJ 89
44
2003 (3) RCR (Civil) 551 (P & H)
45
1932 LLT 15
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21

1998 amendment. This controversy was finally settled by a Division Bench of Punjab and
Haryana High Court in Jagir Singh v Financial Commissioner (Appeals), Punjab
46
, and
held that as per sub-section 3 of section 16 of the Act, it is evident that if the Collector refer
the matter to the Commissioner, it is only then, the order of the Commissioner would be final.
The jurisdiction of the Financial Commissioner, is, however, as provided by Section 16 (4), if
the order impugned before the Financial Commissioner in a revision was not in a reference
by the Collector but was passed by the Commissioner under the hierarchy created under the
Act, such an order is not final and covered under Section 16 (3) and revision under Section 16
(4) is still maintainable.

In Jagir Singh v Nazar Singh
47
, the Financial Commissioner, Punjab held that
Commissioner has been given powers of revision under the amended Act and he can modify
or reverse the proceedings under case of Subordinate Revenue Officers and the decision of
the Commissioner shall be final in such revisional cases. The only power of Commissioner
has been enhanced by way of amendment and the power of Financial Commissioner are same
after the amendment.

The Financial Commissioner, Punjab, in Darbari Lal v Balbir
48
, observed that prior to
amendment Collector or the Commissioner had to report their opinion for orders of the
Financial Commissioner for modification or reversal of the orders of their subordinate
authority but after amendment, Collector have to recommend only to the Commissioner and
the Order of the Commissioner will be final. The Financial Commissioner further observed
that of the orders of all the authorities below or concurrent, revision petition before the
Financial Commissioner is still maintainable.

Revision- Suo Moto:

In Suraj Bhana v Rati Ram
49
, the Court held that even accepting that the complainant was
not a necessary party in the proceedings before the Collector or the Commissioner. This
would not make the appeal/revision infructuous because the matter before the Financial
Commissioner can be heard under suo moto powers under Section 16 of the Act.

Speaking Order:


46
2000 (2) RCR (Civil) 534 (P & H)
47
1999 (2) RCR (Civil) 140 (FCP)
48
1999 (4) RCR (Civil) 578 (FCP)
49
1993 (1) LJR 296
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22

In Shri Kamkhum v State of H.P
50
, it was held that the decision merely recorded the
ultimate conclusion, but did not disclose the process if reasoning by which such conclusion
was arrived at. It is settled law that quasi-judicial authority is under an obligation to give
reasons in support of its conclusion, because it is the reasons which rules out the arbitrariness.

Financial Commissioners power of correction of Jamabandi:

In Mohinder Singh v State of Punjab
51
, the question arose whether the Financial
Commissioner has jurisdiction to order correction in Jamabandi. The Court held that the
Financial Commissioner has no jurisdiction to order corrections in the Jamabandi by resort to
administrative power under Section 11 of the Act- Financial Commissioner can only order for
the correction of clerical orders in the Jamabandi in accordance with power conferred and the
procedure prescribed by para 7.29 of Chapter VII of the Punjab Land Records Manuals-
Financial Commissioner may in exercise of his powers under Section 16 (1) of the Act take
suo moto notice of a fraudulent entry in the record of rights and ordered its correction on the
basis of an established fraud. The power under Section 16 (1) of the Act shall be exercised in
the rarest of rare case and then also after affording an opportunity of hearing to the party
likely to be affected and by recording a reasoned order.









50
1984 Sim LJ 542 (H.P)
51
2011 (1) RCR (Civil) 107 (P & H)
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23

BIBLIOGRAPHY

JAUHAR, D. N, Rent Matters on Trial, 1998 Edition. Chandigarh: The Punjab Law
Reporter Press. 1998

KHURANA, P.S, KHURANA A. K. A Treatise on Land Laws, 3
rd
Edition.
Chandigarh: Shree Ram Law House, 2013.