Ramakanta Biswas

In a remarkable judgement, the Orissa High Court has directed Chatrapur tehsildar in Ganjam district to visit the residence of an oxygenation war widow instead of troubling her to come to his office and provide all sorts of solutions related to a land. 

A single bench of Justice Biswanath Rath passed the order while hearing a writ petition filed by M Rajamma. She had filed a petition alleging inaction of public authority in the matter of bringing a Record of Rights of a land handed over to her on account of death of her husband, a Soldier fighting for the Nation in the Pak-India War, 1971. 

The petitioner had informed the court that the land patta granted in her favour was destroyed in the Super-Cyclone in the district of Ganjam in 1999.

The petitioner's counsel JK Naik contended that considering the condition of the War-Widow, an early step should have been taken by the tehsildar concerned. However, repeated approach to the tehsildar yielded no result. 

It is even after bringing such aspect to the notice of the Collector, there is no development," the petitioner's counsel added. 

Hearing the petition, Justice Biswanath Rath expressed anxiety over the lackadaisical attitude of the tehsildar and directed the officer to undertake the required exercise. The tehsildar has been asked to find out the order of allotment, if any, in favour of the petitioner from their own Records.

"Further if there is involvement of the War-Widow is necessary, then the Tahasildar himself may visit the residence of the War-Widow already aged 80 years involved herein instead of troubling her to come to his Office to find out all sorts of solutions involved therein," the court said in its order. 

The court said the entire exercise should be completed within one and a half months.

The court has also directed Ganjam Collector to oversee the matter and submit a compliance report to the Registry of the Court within a period of two months.