The Delhi High Court recently expressed displeasure over the huge pendency of applications for mutation of land before the Tehsildar.

"It is a sad state of affairs and travesty of justice that representations of the ordinary citizens of this country have been reduced to mere pieces of papers and the system moves on in its usual snail-speed, being least concerned about their grievances and consequently their applications stacked in files stay on pending for years together.", the Single Bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh observed.

The Court noted that the approach adopted by the concerned officers, who fail to discharge their public duty, led to filing of a number of petitions before the High Court, which added to the already prevailing backlog and pendency of cases.

"The citizens cannot be left at the mercy of such a system and their rights be kept in limbo. It is high time that such a lackadaisical approach is shunned away and buried nine fathoms deep.", the Court held.

The Court was considering a plea seeking quashing of the order passed by Tehsildar whereby the Tehsildar had refused to allow the plea of mutation of the 1/4th share of agricultural land in the name of the petitioners. It was stated that as per tehsildar the mutation process has ceased in light of the new Land Pooling Policy.

The Court had noted that the Tehsildar passed the said order without assigning any sufficient reasons. "Reason is the soul of justice. Any order passed, whether in the exercise of judicial or administrative powers vested in the authority, must be speaking.", the Court had held.

Therefore the Tehsildar was summoned before the High Court.

Advocate JV Rana appeared for petitioners whereas Advocate Reema Khorana appeared for respondent-Union of India and ASC Anupam Srivastava appeared for GNCTD.

During the arguments, it was informed by the counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners that more than 2,000 applications were pending before the concerned Tehsildar for being decided.

The Court observed thus "In the instant case, it is being regretfully reiterated that the conduct of the concerned Tehsildar in handling the instant set of cases is nothing but appalling."

The Court directed the Tehsildar to file an affidavit explaining the details of the applications pending before him along with the dates of receipt of the said applications and specifying therein the period in which they were required to be decided.

The Court further directed him to explain the reasons for the pendency of the aforesaid applications and the reasons for passing the impugned skeletal order in the instant case without assigning sufficient reasons.

The Court gave two weeks time to file the same.

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