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Powers Of Revenue Courts, Its Jurisdiction And Constitution. (U.P. Revenue Code, 2006)

U.P. Revenue Code has been passed by the state legislature back in year 2006. This act was implanted to fulfill certain aims and objectives. One of its main objectives was to consolidate and amend the law relating to land tenure. The Act very well defines the term Revenue Court its constitution, by constitution we mean what all are actually the constituent of revenue court. Further if these authorities have come into existence what is their role in resolving all land revenue related matters.

Also, we know that every authority has a specific defined jurisdiction in which it operates legally and deliver judgements. In this paper an attempt is made to study what these revenue courts are, what are the authorities covered under these revenue courts, their area of jurisdiction and at last powers imbibed in them by state legislature through U.P. Revenue Code, 2006. Different sections concerned to each topic have been discussed in detail. This paper has been divided into 3 chapters for a better understanding of the reader.

The term Revenue Courts is very well defined in the Land Revenue Laws of various states. For instance, in Uttar Pradesh as per section 4(16) of UP Revenue Code, 2016- Revenue Court means all or any of the following authorities the Board and all members thereof, Commissioners, Additional Commissioner, Additional Collectors, Assistant Collectors, Settlement Officers, Assistant Settlement Officers, Record Officers, Assistant Record Officer, Tahsildar and Naib Tahsildar; [1]

The main purpose behind establishment of these courts is to resolve all matters related to Land Revenue, matters involving boundaries of agriculture land and tenancy. Suits being referred to here are related to succession, transfer of land, partition of holdings, demarcation of boundaries, removal of encroachments, eviction of trespassers, and in some states, UP included, declaratory suits. All such suits do not fall under the jurisdiction of Civil Courts in any case.

There is a hierarchy of Revenue Courts. Different types of Revenue Courts include Board members, Commissioners, additional commissioners etc.

Meaning of Revenue Court:
As per section 4(16) of UP Revenue Code, 2016- Revenue Court means all or any of the following authorities the Board and all members thereof, Commissioners, Additional Commissioner, Additional Collectors, Assistant Collectors, Settlement Officers, Assistant Settlement Officers, Record Officers, Assistant Record Officer, Tahsildar and Naib Tahsildar.

Powers of Revenue Courts:

Under U.P. Revenue Code, 2006 following powers are available to Revenue Courts
Section-210 Power to call for the records[2].
  1. According to section the board or commissioner has the power to call for any records which can relate to any kind of suit or proceedings that are being judged by any subordinate revenue court in which no appeal lies, even if any such appeal lies it has not been preferred till date, the entire purpose behind this is so that board members can satisfy themself as to the whole legality or propriety of any such order passed in a particular suit or proceedings being referred to by the Board members; and if such subordinate courts appeal to have:
    1. Exercised any such jurisdiction not empowered to it by Law; or
    2. Failed to exercise any such power vested by Law; or
    3. Also, if by any chance it is found that such a jurisdiction has been exercised illegal or involves material irregularity of any sort, then the respective commissioner or board member whoever seems fit to the concern may pass such an order as they may consider or approve to be valid in the given scenario.
  2. In case where already an application has been moved by a person to board members or commissioner then no further application will be entertained filed by a same person to any of the respective revenue court members.
  3. After the expiry of 30 days of the implementation of this code or from the date of the order sought to be revised, no further orders shall be entertained under this section.

This section includes an important power available to board members or commissioner which constitute revenue courts.

Section-211 Board's power of review [3]

  1. This section grants power to the court to review any of the order passed by itself or pass any such order as it may thinks fit on the basis of any applications made to it by an interested party or board can do so, of its own motion.
  2. Only those order shall be reviewed under sub-section 1, which fall under the following grounds:
    1. In case any new or important matter or evidence is discovered;
    2. Any kind of mistake or error apparent on the act of record;
    3. Any other sufficient reason.
  3. Also orders passed on review shall not be reviewed again.

Section- 212 Power to transfer cases[4]

  1. A board has a very important power under this section where it can transfer case from one revenue court to other revenue court which may be of a higher rank or an equal rank, also it can be in same district or any other district, however this transfer can only be made on the basis that it will be convenient and practical for the ends of Justice to do so.
  2. Further it also gives power to the Commissioner, the collector or the Sub- Divisional officer to make over any case or class of cases arising under the provisions of this Code or any other enactment for the time being in force, for decision from his own file to any Revenue Officer subordinate to him and competent to decide such case or class of cases, or may withdraw any case or class of cases from any such Revenue Officer and may deal with such case or class of case himself or refer the same for disposal to any other Revenue Officer competent to decide such case or class of cases.
These three are the most important powers granted to revenue courts under Chapter XIII of U.P. Revenue Code, 2006.

Jurisdiction of Revenue Courts:

Following sections discussed below talks about jurisdiction of revenue courts:

Section- 206 Jurisdiction of civil courts and revenue courts[5]

  1. Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, but subject to the provisions of this Code, no Civil Court shall entertain any suit, application or proceeding to obtain a decision or order on any matter which the State Government, the Board, any revenue Court or revenue officer is, by or under this Code, empowered to determine, decide or dispose of.
  2. Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (1), and save as otherwise expressly provided by or under this Code:
    1. no civil Court shall exercise jurisdiction over any of the matters specified in the Second Schedule; and
    2. no Court other than the revenue Court or the revenue officer specified in Column 4 of the Third Schedule shall entertain any suit application or proceeding specified in Column 3 thereof.
  3. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Code, an objection that a Court or officer mentioned in sub-section (2)(b) had or had no jurisdiction with respect to any suit, application or proceeding, shall not be entertained by any appellate, revisional or executing Court, unless the objection was taken before the Court or officer of the first instance, at the earliest opportunity, and in all cases where issues are settled at or before such settlement and unless there has been a consequent failure of justice.

Section-207 First appeal [6]

  1. If a party by any chance is not satisfied by a judgement or decree passed in a suit or proceeding which has been specifically mentioned in Column 3 of the III schedule can approach the court through first appeal or officer specified against it in column 5, provided that such an order or decree is passed by court or officer specified against it in column 4.
  2. First appeal may also be filed against order of the nature specifically mentioned:
    1. In Section- 47 of the code of civil procedure, 1908;
    2. In Section-104 of the U.P. Revenue Code, 2006;
    3. Also, in order XLIII of the I schedule of U.P. Revenue Code, 2006

Section-208 Second appeal[7]
  1. If a party is aggrieved by any judgement or decree passed in any first appeal filed under section 207 of the said code in any suit, application or proceeding mentioned in the column 3 of the III schedule, then such a party can go for second appeal in the court mentioned against it in column 6.
  2. Second appeal shall be entertained by appellate court only if they believe that there is a specific reason or they are satisfied that case involves substantial question of law.
  3. There is certain limitation of time period within which appeal has to be filed, as per this section time period is 90 days from the date of order or decree appeal is filed against.

Section-209 Bar against certain appeals[8]
  1. Notwithstanding anything mentioned in Section 207 and 208, no appeal can be filed against order or decree:
    1. passed under chapter V of U.P. Revenue Code, 2006
    2. granting or rejecting an application for condonation of delay under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963;
    3. an application rejected for review;
    4. where an application is granted or rejected for stay;
    5. remanding the case to any subordinate court;
    6. where the nature of order or decree is interim.

Constitution of Revenue Courts:

Section 4(16) of UP Revenue Code, 2006 Revenue Courts include or say constitute of
  1. Board Members (Both admin and judicial):

    This board generally constitutes of Chairman and any other member as may be appointed by the government of state.
    The main function of this Board is to act as chief controlling authority in matters relating to disposal of cases, appeals or revision. Also, subject to the superintendence, direction and control of the State Government, in all other matters provided in this Code
  2. Commissioners or Additional Commissioners:

    A commissioner shall be appointed by state government in each division. State government may also appoint one or more additional commissioner in one or more division.
  3. Collectors or Additional Collectors:

    A collector is a person who is in charge of revenue administration. So, a state government shall appoint in each district a commissioner and may also appoint one or more additional commissioner in one or more district.
  4. Assistant Collectors:

    The state government has the authority to appoint as many people as it thinks fit for the post assistant collectors of the first or second class. Assistant Collector first class in charge of one or more sub-divisions of a district shall be called the Assistant Collector first class in-charge of a sub-division or a Sub-Divisional Officer. Further state government if required so may appoint an assistant- collector first class to be additional sub-divisional officers for one or more tahsils in a district.
  5. Chief Revenue Officers:

    Role of a revenue inspector is to look after proper maintenance, supervision and correction of village records or for any such other duties. The collector has power to appoint one or more tahsil in each district
  6. Settlement Officers
  7. Assistant Settlement Officers
  8. Record Officers
  9. Assistant Record Officers
  10. Tahsildars and Tahsildar (Judicial):

    The state government may appoint as many persons it considered to be required as tahsildars in each district.
  11. Naib Tahsildar:

    The State Government may appoint in each district as many persons as it thinks fit to be Naib-Tahsildars.
All the above-mentioned heads constitute or we can say are the part of revenue Courts.

In this paper we have looked upon an important part of land law i.e., U.P. Revenue Code, 2006, how this code introduced revenue courts. Constitution of revenue courts is very well detailed in the above-mentioned code.

Further these revenue courts play a very important role as they are empowered with different powers which they can exercise from time to time when required however the same is to be done within their respective jurisdiction.

  • U.P. Revenue Code, 2006,

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