The Rajasthan Revenue Courts Grid
– An Address by V.Srinivas IAS –Shri Shyamlal Gurjar, Member Board of Revenue, Ajmer Shri Inder Singh Rao, Revenue Appellate Authority, Chittorgarh Shri Indrajit Singh, District Collector Chittorgarh All Additional District Collectors, Chittorgarh All Sub-Divisional Officers, Chittorgarh All Tehsildars, Chittorgarh I am delighted to be in Chittorgarh today, I had served as Sub-Divisional Officer Nimbaheda from February 1992 to August 1993 and have many happy memories of my work in this district. I return to this conference hall after many years, enriched by almost 3 decades of administrative experience. The Rajasthan Revenue Courts Grid Let me congratulate Shri Inder Singh Rao on becoming the first Revenue Appellate Authority to place judgments online and Shri Indrajit Singh on becoming the first District Collector to place judgments online. These are important steps forward for establishing the Rajasthan Revenue Courts Grid. The Rajasthan Revenue Courts Grid is a system of online judgments that the State would provide the litigants with immediate web access to decisions of Revenue Courts. Modeled on the lines of the e-Courts mission of the Government implemented by Ministry of Justice in the Supreme Court of India, and all High Courts where judgments of the Supreme Court and High Courts have been placed online, the Rajasthan Revenue Courts Grid will accord the centrality of focus to the Litigants who appear in Rajasthan’s Revenue Courts. This is the first step towards establishing Rajasthan’s Revenue Courts as fully digital institutions. By November 2017, all Revenue Courts upto Sub-Divisional Officers Courts would commence placing judgments online. The next step would be to place the judgments of Tehsildar Courts and Naib Tehsildar Courts online by end December 2017. I wish to extend the digitization process to include the following activities: i. Status of admissions cases ii. Status of classification/ bunching of cases iii. Status of issue/ service of summons notices iv. Status of applications for Legal Heirs v. Status of framing of issues in all cases of Suits vi. Status of cases in evidence vii. Status of cases in arguments viii. Status of cases in judgment writing ix. Status of cases for issue of decrees x. Status of cases for execution decrees xi. In the case of Board of Revenue and Revenue Appellate Authorities we would monitor a. Status of Revision cases b. Status of Reference cases The Revenue Courts at District Collectorates can consider establishing a judicial facilitation center manned by Information Assistants, for providing a set of specific services to the Advocates and Litigants. A stage wise monitoring alone can reduce the huge case loads that Rajasthan faces in Revenue Courts today. It is currently taking the litigant an average of 5 years of litigation in Sub-Divisional Officer Courts, 2 years litigation in Revenue Appellate Authorities Courts and 15 years litigation in the Board of Revenue. The cumulative period is 22 years. Day after day, for the past 120 days, I have heard 2nd appeals of cases registered in the Board of Revenue in the years 2000-2001. Very rarely do I get to hear arguments in more recent cases, except those at admission stage. We need to address litigation every stage, to ensure that the Presiding Officers in Revenue Courts are in control of the litigation. The other issue that I wish to flag for today’s discussion is the reasons for high institution of Revenue Litigation in Rajasthan. Revenue Litigation in Rajasthan: In 1992, when I was Sub-Divisional Officer Nimbaheda, the Sub-Division had 5 Tehsils namely, Nimbaheda, Bhadesar, Chotisadri, Badisadri and Dungla and a litigation of 1450 court cases. Today Chittorgarhhas 11 Tehsils has 11 Sub-Divisional Officers. It is expected that with 11 Sub-Divisional Officers the quantum of revenue litigation would come down significantly and timely justice would be provided, however the litigation has increased to almost 1000 cases and more for every SDO Court. What is the plausible reason for the exponential increase in Revenue Litigation? We need to improve the quality of our land records. How do we improve the quality of land records? The periodicity of inspections of Patwaris by Tehsildars, of Tehsildar offices by SDO’s and of SDO offices by District Collectors must be timely and impact oriented. The key is to have thoroughly scrutinized Records of Rights. 70 percent of the mutations emerge from the Sub Registrar offices as mortgage deeds and sale deeds. We need to establish a proper linkage between registered documents and records of rights so that errors do not creep into the registration process. The Digitization of Land Records Management Program (DILRMP) seeks to establish this linkage between Sub Registrar offices and Tehsildar offices. Chittorgarh is amongst the model districts for implementation of the DILRMP programs and I would urge all Tehsildars to expedite implementation of the process for establishment of Model Tehsils. Need for Discipline in Conducting Revenue Courts I often hear from members of the Revenue Bar that the Revenue Courts are not sitting regularly and there is considerable unpredictability about court timings and periodicity. We must conduct Courts regularly. Revenue Administration has grown exponentially and today we have more officers and staff manning revenue courts than we ever had in the 70 year history of Rajasthan. These huge numbers must present disciplined and cohesive performances to yield optimal results. SDO’s must conduct Court work from 1030 am to 1.30 pm for 3 days in a week and Assistant Collectors must conduct Court work all 5 days in a week. Judgments must be delivered in time. Speaking orders interpreting each of the issues Dear Colleagues, Power is all about making a difference. The Rajasthan Tenancy Act 1955 and the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act 1956 has vested in Revenue Courts significant powers to protect tenancies and bring about land reforms. Mr. Narayana Murthy the former CMD of Infosys said “Performance brings Results, Results bring Recognition Recognition brings Power” Let us try collectively to improve our performance to produce high results. Please accept my good wishes in all your challenging endeavors. Jai Hind. ____________
Address by V.Srinivas IAS, Chairman Board of Revenue to Revenue Officers of District Chittorgarh, DRDA Conference Hall, Collectorate, Chittorgarh Dated October 26, 2017
V.Srinivas is an IAS officer of 1989 batch, presently posted as Chairman Board of Revenue for Rajasthan
He had previously served in the Ministry of Finance and as Advisor to Executive Director (India) IMF, Washington DC. Also worked as Planning and Finance Secretary of Rajasthan.
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