LEGAL luminaries dealing with revenue cases today expressed grave apprehensions over the provisions of the controversial Revenue Code Bill, which was passed in the Vidhan Sabha on Thursday.
The Bill, slashing powers of the Board of Revenue, would not only delay justice but make it beyond the reach of the common man, they felt.
Dubbing it as a hasty decision, they said the government should have given more thought to the contentious code before rushing through its passage in the House.
Piloting the Bill in the House, Revenue Minister Ambika Chaudhury, however, termed the fears as baseless. While the minister asserted that simplified laws would in fact help the poor, legal experts said its adverse impact would be visible within two years.
Senior revenue lawyer Bodhlal Shukla said land litigation would become costly because of elimination of ‘revision process’ in the board. Now the litigants would have to approach the High Court for this purpose, Shukla said and added things would also become time consuming.
“As against low cost litigation in the board, the common man would be forced to queue up in the High Court for revision,” Tripathi said and added even the high court always sought the board views on revenue-related matters. The bill had rendered the board ineffective as most of its powers had now been vested with divisional commissioners.
President of the Revenue Lawyers Association SK Tripathi said the new code was full of pitfalls and would badly affect the common man. Pointing out that most of the work would now be dealt at the commissioner level, Tripathi said the board had become an ornamental piece for all practical purposes.
The lawyers association would petition governor TV Rajeswar against the legislation, Tripathi said adding the association would ask Rajeswar not give his consent to the bill as it was against the interest of the people.
Leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Pramod Tiwari, however, welcomed some measures saying they were long overdue. But the government had acted in a haste, he said and added no opportunity was given to legal experts to present their case on the issue.
General secretary of the Rashtriya Lok Dal Munna Singh Chauhan said curtailing revision powers of the board was against the interest of the people.