“Jalkar vs. Private Ownership: Supreme Court Settles Dispute Over Pond Land in Bihar” Bihar Consolidation of Upholdings and Prevention of Fragmentation Act, 1956 – Section 37 – Bar of jurisdiction of Civil Courts – The dispute involves 0.32 decimal of land in Bihar, originally settled by ex-landlord ‘R’ to ‘M’, and then allegedly inherited by the plaintiff-appellant through adoption – The main issue is the possession and confirmation of the plaintiff’s possession over the land, which was challenged by the State authorities claiming the land as state-owned pond land (jalkar) – The plaintiff-appellant claims continuous possession since the land was settled to ‘M’ and asserts that the Consolidation Officer’s order confirming his title should be respected – The State of Bihar contends that the land is pond land and cannot be settled to the plaintiff-appellant, and that the civil suit is not maintainable due to the bar under Section 37 of the Consolidation Act – The Supreme Court set aside the appellate courts’ judgments, restored the trial court’s decree, and confirmed the plaintiff-appellant’s title and possession of the land – The Court found that the appellate courts erred in ignoring the final and conclusive order of the Consolidation Officer, which recognized the plaintiff-appellant’s rights – The Court reasoned that the Consolidation Officer’s order, which became final, should have been given effect to, and the Civil Court’s jurisdiction is impliedly excluded in such matters – The Supreme Court concluded that the civil suit for declaration of rights over the land is not barred by Section 37 of the Consolidation Act, and the plaintiff-appellant’s rights stand recognized by the consolidation authorities.


May 5, 2024

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