Calcutta HC slaps 50k cost on writ petitioner for misleading Court
In a notable judgment, the Calcutta High Court dismissed a writ application pertaining to a revenue matter and slapped cost of Rs 50,000 on the petitioner for trying to mislead the Court. “It appears that the petitioner somehow wanted to procure a favourable order from the Court by hiding ill motives and it’s time to shoot down the effort of the tenacious petitioner from filing such type of writ applications again and again on self same cause of action,” said Justice Siddhartha Chattopadhyay before pronouncing the judgment earlier this month.
The High Court observed that as per the Land Register of 1978, the petitioner was in occupation of land measuring an area of 11 sq.mtrs out of the total area of 340 sq.mtrs at Aberdeen village. “It further transpires that initially the land bearing Survey No.2754 area was 360 sq. mtr. situated at Aberdeen (Dugnabad) and that was allotted in favour of Sadu, wife of Chinnaswamy in the year 1968 and the petitioner purchased the land from Smt. Sadu and sold an area of 80 sq. mtrs. The Tehsildar in report submitted in 1983 recorded that the remaining land is under the occupation of Jogen Singh and Abdullah who have already built up their houses. It further appears from the order of Deputy Commissioner, South Andaman that the present petitioner before purchase of the land ought to have verified the land whether the entire area of 340 squ. mtr. is physically available or not. Ultimately, she had accepted the less area from her vendor Sadu and she cannot now claim that she has legal right for alternate land in lieu of her purchased land. Dispossession by itself cannot be a ground for allotment of alternate land,” said Justice Siddhartha Chattopadhyay.
“Another shocking fact has come out that the petitioner’s husband has already been allotted land measuring area 150 sq. mtr. at Haddo village in Port Blair Tehsil under the pre-1978 encroachment regularization policy. Therefore, the present petitioner’s family has availed the benefit of allotment of land. The petitioner herself purchased a land which was not owned by her predecessor in interest in its entirety. This apart, she herself sold a portion of her land to a third party and now she is claiming further allotment. This factual aspect has come out from the report of the Deputy Commissioner, South Andaman, and the same has not been controverted by the petitioner,” said Justice Chattopadhyay ruling that the petitioner was trying to mislead the Court and is not entitled to get any relief.
In the writ application, the petitioner, Smt. Lakshmi Kantam, claimed that she purchased a house site bearing Survey No.2754 Area 340 sq. mtrs. situated at Dugnabad village on 28.9.1973 and she had constructed a small house. In the year 1978, she could not carry out repairs of the house as a considerable portion was allegedly encroached by one Abdullah following which she registered a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner.
The Revenue Department, after inspecting the land, concluded that since one Jogin Singh had constructed the house on Site No.2754 sometimes during 1969-70, the Revenue Court had no jurisdiction to settle the dispute and to allot the alternate land in lieu of her existing site. As the Revenue Department was unable to allot an alternate land to the petitioner, she moved the High Court in 2008 and the Single Bench then directed the Deputy Commissioner to implement the decision of allotment of land, if taken. The Deputy Commissioner dealt with the issue and came to the conclusion that since no decision has been taken on the proposal for alternate allotment, the department was unable to give her any relief. Failing to garner relief, the petitioner continued filing writs and contempt applications before the High Court, which was ultimately dismissed this month.