Delhi High Court: In a petition filed by Iqbal Singh (petitioner) seeking certified copies of the case ‘Gaon Sabha, Bijwasan v. Ballu Ram’, Appeal No. 148/03 being aggrieved that despite making repeated visits to the office of Additional District Magistrate (respondent) and repeated representations being written, certified copies are not being issued, Prathiba M Singh, J., summoned officials at the next date of hearing. The Court also observed that in many matters, records are going missing from the offices of the Sub-Registrars and other officials, which is a matter of serious concern.
The affidavit submitted by Mr. Balram Meena, Additional District Magistrate, Kapashera, New Delhi is to the effect that the file was consigned to the record room and upon searching, the same could not be traced. It was further claimed that an office order dated 20-12-2022 had been issued by the deponent directing all the SDMs concerned to search the file in their respective offices, however, despite repeated efforts, the same file could not be traced.
The Court noted that upon perusing through the counter affidavit it is seen that the dispatch register does not match when the file was consigned to the record room. In many matters, land records are going missing from the offices of the Sub-Registrars and other officials.
The Court further noted that this is a matter of serious concern, and the officials are behaving in a callous and casual manner. Considering that these are valuable lands to which these documents relate to, loss of such records has a significant bearing on the rights of citizens and there is a threat of misuse of the documents.
The Court summoned the following officials at the next date of hearing i.e., 10-04-2023:
i) Mr. Balram Meena – current ADM, South-West District, Kapashera, New Delhi;
ii) Mr. Rakesh Dahiya, ADM, South West who has allegedly passed the order dated 28-02-2022 irrespective of wherever he is posted currently;
iii) Mr. Manoj Kumar Patwari (Kanungo), Kapashera who is stated to have received the file on 8-03-2022;
iv) Mr. Mukesh Patwari, the Record Keeper (Kapashera) whose name is mentioned in the typed chart handed over to the Court in the counter affidavit filed today.
[Iqbal Singh v Additional District Magistrate, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 1419, decided on 06-03-2023]
Judgment By: Justice Prathiba M Singh.
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. Udaibir Singh Kochar, Mr. Aditya Bakshi, Mr. Varun Rajawat, Ms. Tulna Rampal & Ms. Deepali Dasgupta, Advocates for the Petitioner;
Mr. Rishikesh Kumar, Mr. Aditiya Raj & Mr. Sudhir, Advocates for the GNCTD.