Allahabad High Court: In a writ petition filed to raise an issue regarding availability of the statutory remedy of a revision under Section 210 of the Uttar Pradesh Revenue Code, 2006 against an order of remand passed in an appeal, Dr. Yogendra Kumar Srivastava, J. has held that the revisional court has the power to rectify an order of a subordinate revenue court at any stage of the suit or proceedings, even if, the order does not finally dispose of the suit or the proceeding. The expression ‘proceeding decided’ would include a part of a proceeding and an interlocutory order directly affecting the rights and obligation of parties would also be included within its scope. Thus, the Court declined to entertain the writ petition in view of the availability of an efficacious statutory legal remedy of revision against the order dated 18-11-2022 passed by the Commissioner while deciding the appeals.
One-half of the undivided share of a plot of land jointly held by two brothers, was purchased by respondent 6 by means of a registered sale deed executed by one of the co-owners. The remaining half of the share was purchased by the petitioner through another sale deed by the other co-sharer. The petitioners as well as the contesting respondents got their names mutated in the revenue records as co-sharers of the plot in question. Thereafter, the petitioner preferred a suit under Section 116 of the UP Revenue Code for division of the holding in the Court of the Sub-divisional Officer. The private respondents, though parties in the suit did not file their written statements, and a preliminary decree was made in terms of the order dated 23-01-2019, and thereafter, the suit was finally decreed by an order dated 26-10-2019. A restoration application dated 13-12-2019, filed by respondent 6 seeking recall of the aforestated order, was rejected by the Sub-divisional Magistrate by an order dated 27-12-2021.
The final order dated 26-10-2019, was subjected to an appeal filed by respondent 6 under Section 207 of the UP Revenue Code. An appeal against the said order was also filed by respondent 5. The respondent 6 also preferred an appeal under Section 207 of the Revenue Code against the order dated 27-12-2021 in terms of which the restoration application filed by respondent 6 had been rejected. These three appeals were heard and decided by a common order dated 18-11-2022 passed by the Commissioner, Azamgarh, wherein he set aside the order dated 26-10-2019 and 27-12-2019 and remanded the case to the Court below to grant an opportunity of hearing to the parties to decide the case afresh on merits.
Thus, the petitioner filed the present petition raising an objection regarding entertainability of the petition, by pointing out that against the order passed in appeal, the petitioner would have an efficacious statutory remedy of filing a revision.
The Court said that the order of remand in terms of which the case has been remanded after making certain observations on the merits of the case, and issuing directions to the court below to grant the parties opportunity of hearing and of adducing evidence, cannot be held to be a ‘remand simpliciter’ or an order of an ‘interlocutory nature’, since the order passed by the Commissioner has a finality attached to it, as it has the effect of disposing of the appeal.
The Court said that the order passed by the Commissioner while exercising powers of the first Appellate Court under Section 207 of the UP Revenue Code, having resulted in a remand, the bar contained under Section 209(e) would be attracted and the remedy of a further statutory appeal would not be available. The bar under Section 209 against filing an appeal having been attracted, it would be required to be seen as to whether the revisional jurisdiction under Section 210 can be invoked against the order passed by the Commissioner in appeal. The language of Section 210 indicates that the powers of revision may be exercised in respect of any order passed in a suit or ‘proceeding decided’. The word ‘proceeding’, though not defined under the UP Revenue Code, when applied to a suit, is generally used to express the separate steps taken during a suit.
As per the Court, the word ‘proceeding’ ordinarily relates to the modes in which judicial transactions are conducted. Thus, it is wider than the word ‘case’.
The Court noted that Section 210 of the Revenue Code provides the remedy of a revision and empowers the Board or the Commissioner to call for the record of ‘any suit or proceeding decided’ by any subordinate Revenue Court in which no appeal lies for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the legality or propriety of any order passed in suit or proceeding.
The Court said that maintainability of a revision would depend on two conditions:
It must relate to a suit or proceeding decided by any Revenue Court subordinate to the Board or Commissioner.
It must be in connection with any ‘suit or proceeding decided’, against which no appeal lies.
Thus, the Court said that once these twin conditions are satisfied, it cannot be said that the revision would not be maintainable. Further, it said that the word ‘proceeding’ would also include the ‘proceedings’ at the appellate stage.
Therefore, the Court held that the word ‘proceeding’, in the expression ‘proceeding decided’ occurring in Section 210 of the Revenue Code would be construed as being wide enough to comprehend within its ambit a proceeding initiated pursuant to an appellate order also. It would include any suit, appeal or application.
The Court further held that the impugned order having decided the appeal finally, would be within the ambit of the expression ‘proceeding decided’, occurring in Section 210 of the U.P. Revenue Code, and therefore the remedy of a revision cannot be said to be excluded.
[Paltoo Ram Yadav v State of U.P., 2023 SCC OnLine All 646, Order dated 18-08-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Counsel for Petitioner : Advocate Hemant Kumar Rai, Advocate Arvind Kumar Rai
Counsel for Respondent : Chief Standing Counsel Mayank Krishna S Chandel, Advocate Ram Niwas Singh, Advocate Rameshwar Prasad Shukla, Advocate Vinod Kumar Chandel