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Supreme Court defines duty of collector under section 165 of the Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code

Kavya Sharma ,
  01 March 2023       Share Bookmark

Court :
Brief :

Citation :


Khora, Through Legal Heirs & Ors v Mohar Sai & Ors


February 20, 2023




Appellant: Khora (Dead) Through Legal Heirs

Respondent: Mohar Sai & Ors.


The Hon’ble Supreme Court (hereinafter referred to as ‘Supreme Court’ or ‘the Court’), dismissed the appeal and upheld the order of the High Court. The court was with the opinion that there is no need for any interference with the order to three courts below. 


Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code, 1959

  • Section 165 – elaborates the power vested in the collector while deciding the authenticity of the documents and the related transactions. 
  • Section 170 – states the criteria for avoiding the transfer with contravention of section 165
  • Section 257 – states the exclusive jurisdiction of the revenue authority 


  • A civil suit was filed by the respondent before the third Civil Judge for obtaining the permanent injunction order over the land which was purchased through sale deed on 2nd April 1981.
  • Both the parties belonged to scheduled Tribe. The appellant stated that the purchase was done in favour of his master who did not belong to scheduled tribe community; therefore the transaction was benami and was not in favour of a tribal. 
  • First Appellant Court and the High Court reject the plea of the appellant; therefore the present appeal has been filed to the Supreme Court against the decree given by Chhattisgarh High Court. 


Whether or not respondent No. 1 was the actual proprietor and not just the apparent owner?


  • The council has questioned the Revenue Authority on confirming the validity of the sale and order of res judicata. The question was also raised with regards to the Civil Court’s jurisdiction with respect to the section 257 of Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code, 1959.
  • It is contented that the order under section 170 of the Code passed by the Departmental officer is unlawful and has violated section 165 of the Code. The same order was confirmed by the Appellant authority and the Board of revenue as if there was no such violation of law. 
  • It is clarified that the sale deed which was created on behalf of a person, that person does belong to tribal community. 


  • It is contented that the challenge made by the appellant has been dismissed by the High Court already and there is no such violation of section 165 and 170 of the Code.
  • The proceedings were already prohibited before the Civil Court by res judicata.
  • According to section 165(6)(c) of the Code the authority, who is given the power to supervise the transaction or label it as benami or legal, is the collector. 
  • It is to be noted that Subsections (6a) through 6(f) seem to have been added by a notification dated 15.04.1981, which was after the execution date of the disputed land document.
  • It was argued that the respondents in this case made an effort to demonstrate that the transaction was subject to the 1988 Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act. 
  • If that was the matter then the Revenue Authorities could not have investigated all of these issues, so their conclusions could not have served as res-judicata.


  • The High Court correctly noted that any issue that the Authorities have the authority to assess, deliberate or dispose of is subject to the limit of jurisdiction set forth in Section 257 of the Code.
  • The authorities' authority may not extend solely to the determination of whether the acquisition made by a tribal member was a fraudulent and insignificant transaction made for the advantage of a non-tribal member. Thereby, the High Court was correct to deny the aforementioned argument.
  • The court finds no justification to overturn the joint rulings and decisions of the three courts. Consequently, the Civil Appeal is denied. There won't be a cost-related order. Any outstanding applications must also be resolved.


In the above case the authority of the collector under section 165 of the Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code, 1959 has been defined. Sub-section 6(a) of 165 says about the power of the collector with regards to the transactions and its authenticity however such power can only be exercised when an order under sub-section 6(a) has been passed. And the refusal or not granting the permission is explained in sub-section 6(b). Such power needs to be in accordance with other subsection of the 165. However this authority is not specifically stated to include avoiding advances under Section 170. 

It was stated by the appellant, that the transferee himself was a tribal member who had applied to the court for a statement that his acquisition was authentic and legitimate, so the court was undoubtedly within its rights to conduct an investigation.

The Trial Court did raise the issue of ownership and determined that Respondent No. 1 had built a home on the land and that his kids were residing there. On the aforementioned farm, they were domesticating livestock as well.

In fact it was noted by the court that, the argument made by the appellants was the notion that Phool Chand, a defendant No. 3 employee who had a drinking problem, had the transaction carried out without due thought while Phool Chand was inebriated. However, based on the proof, the Trial Court determined that Phool Chand was employed as a Clerk in the Nagar Palika. Therefore the case was rightly dismissed by the Supreme Court filed by the appellant.

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