Thursday, November 28, 2013
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh,
November 20, 2013
© 2013 HT Media Limited.
In an effort to dispossess all encroachers of shamlat land, the Punjab government has told deputy commissioners to hold monthly meetings to scrap all illegal deals and dispose of all such pending cases of land encroachment. Officers of the rural development and panchayats department would assist the DCs to free government land of miscreants.
Stating this on Tuesday, rural development and panchayat minster Surjit Singh Rakhra said the financial commissioner, revenue, had written a letter to all DCs to hold meetings every month to deal with cases of shamlat land encroachment. He said the district welfare and panchayat officer, district revenue officer, tehsildar and block welfare and panchayat officer would also attend these meetings.
The DCs have also been instructed to implement the land possession warrant in the stipulated time frame so as to divest encroachers of illegal possession of common land. They have been asked to ensure the disposal of all such cases filed under Section 7 of the Punjab Village Common Land Act within three months and cases under Section 6 and 11 within six months.
He said deputy commissioners would have to submit the proceedings of all such meetings to the financial commissioner, revenue, and the director, rural development and panchayats.
Rakhra stated that as demanded by the panchayats, the tehsildar would have to do demarcation of shamlat land within 30 days. "There is a substantial increase in the income of panchayats as the auction process of shamlat land has been made online," he said.
He said the auction process had also been videographed and the department earned Rs. 237 crore in the current year, Rs. 16 crore more than last year.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
JUSTICE KULDIP SINGH SPECIAL TRIBUNAL REPORT PART XII: Punjab Land Grab - Tribunal advocates Special High Court Bench, CBI probe
In the concluding report today, The Tribune reproduces operative portions of the Tribunal's all-encompassing recommendations
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 20
Copyright : The Tribune Trust, 2012
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 20
The Special Tribunal headed by Justice Kuldip Singh has recommended that some authority like CBI should be entrusted with the criminal investigations into the “land grab cases” involving public lands in Punjab villages around Chandigarh. It also stated that the High Court may consider constituting a Special Bench to monitor all the issues arising out of the two reports of the Tribunal.
Justice Kuldip Singh, which meticulously went into the revenue records of these villages before filing his two reports stated that the investigation, findings and recommendations of the Tribunal would be of no consequence unless these were examined in detail by the High Court after giving notice to the parties concerned and issuing binding orders to State Government and its officers. "Prima facie it has been found that several officers who had either passed patently illegal, erroneous, and malafide orders, are more or less involved in the Land Grabbing process."
In the last week of May, 2012, the Double Bench of the Punjab & Haryana High Court ordered the setting up of Special Tribunal comprising of former Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Kuldip Singh and advocate PN Aggarwal. The Tribunal took six months to take off as the Punjab Government dilly-dallied on providing infrastructure and other facilities required to it to become functional. Later the state also moved the Supreme Court against the setting up of the Tribunal.
The Tribunal has made several recommendations to retrieve what has been taken away from village panchayats in the past 30 years or so. It stated, "We are of the considered view that that a “land grab scam” is operating specially in the Punjab villages in the periphery of Chandigarh. Several cases have come before us where the governmental authorities have taken indifferent attitude towards a patent fraud being committed in respect of such lands. The Director / Additional Directors of Consolidation in collusion with the revenue officers and the right holders have passed orders which are patently illegal and smack of fraud, collusion and conspiracy. The work of protecting Panchayat/ Government/ Public lands cannot be left to the governmental authorities. "We made several recommendations in our First Report dated 11.3.2013.
The State Government made a statement before the High Court it would accept most of the recommendations. It is submitted that apart from the paper work, nothing practical has been done by the State Government.
"Special officers with the powers of Collector and Commissioner in terms of the various special Acts dealing with the land matters be created as exclusive courts/ authority to deal with the pending as well as the fresh cases pertaining to the land laws. In each district one special court on the pattern “Fast Track Courts” should be created to deal with criminal cases. Likewise in each Division, one Commissioner’s Court be created to deal with the appeal/ revision etc.
"The orders of the Civil Courts/ Consolidation and Revenue Authorities which were prima facie illegal and based on fraud/ collusion and conspiracy - though never challenged, should be reopened and decided afresh by the High Court in exercise of its extraordinary jurisdiction and by invoking suo moto powers.
The High Court may consider constituting a Special Bench to monitor the above said cases. All those persons/ societies/ corporations etc., who are shown to be in possession of the above said land in terms of the latest jamabandi entries, must be dispossessed.
"The officers/ officials of the Revenue/ Consolidation Departments, who are found to be involved during investigations by a competent independent authority, be punished suitably along with the persons who took possession of the lands and enjoyed it illegally over the years.
"It has been observed during the course of our functioning that the institution of Patwaris/ Kanungos, is reputed to be highly corrupt. We are, therefore, strongly of the view that the cadres of Patwaris and Kanungos should be totally abolished in a phased manner and some other official by the name of Revenue Inspector or the like, directly under the control of the Collector, be substituted. The Punjab Land Revenue Act needs a fresh look and comprehensive amendment.
"We further recommend that with a view to safeguard the income derived from the Shamlat land to the Gram Panchayats, the overall supervision of the Shamlat land should be entrusted to the Collector of the District by way of an appropriate amendment. There should be regular audit of the Shamlat lands."
Exposing the modus operandi of land grabbers,the Tribunal stated that a consolidation Officer/ Revenue Officer was roped-in to pass a sham order determining the shares of the right holders in the Shamlat/Panchayat deh land. The Patwari entered the mutation on the basis of the said order and the Naib Tehsildar sanctioned the mutation exercising the powers of Assistant Collector, 2nd Grade. The shares were then sold by way of Power of Attorneys or even by outright sale deeds to outsiders. The shares which were sold, were also wrongly determined in the revenue record. No partition of the land by metes and bounds took place and no Nishandehi (demarcation) the area was done. The grabbers took possession of the area of their choice. Thereafter, applications for correction of girdawari or even entries in the jamabandis were made which were promptly decided in their favour.
Copyright : The Tribune Trust, 2012
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
JUSTICE KULDIP SINGH SPECIAL TRIBUNAL REPORT PART XI: Punjab Land Grab - GMADA compensated illegal occupants
Continuing with the series, The Tribune today reproduces operative portions of the report pertaining to Hoshiarpur village.
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 19
The Special Tribunal headed by Justice Kuldip Singh has pointed out a piquant situation relating to Shamlat land in Hoshiarpur village, near here. When the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) acquired huge chunks of shamlat deh, it gave compensation to those illegally occupying the land.
The Tribunal has recommended that the compensation paid should be recovered from the right holders and given to the Gram Panchayat.
The Special Tribunal has stated, “Thejamabandi for the year 1997-98 shows the totalShamlat deh land as 1492 Kanal 17 Marla. The position continued in the latest jamabandi of 2007-08. It would be pertinent to mention that some of the proprietors, namely, Gurdial Singh etc., filed a petition under Section 42 of the 1948 Act before the Director, Consolidation, claiming that the Shamlat land in dispute did not vest in the Gram Panchayatand should therefore be returned to them.
Ms Gaytri Jain, the then Additional Director Consolidation,Punjab, though conscious of the fact that the land was “Shamlat deh”, decided vide order dated 10.6.1997 that question of limitation did not arise as mistakes and irregularities could be corrected at any time and held that the Shamlat deh land belonged to the Khewatdaars. The application was allowed and the land was ordered to be returned to theKhewatdaars.
“The order dated 10.6.1997 by Ms.Gaytri Jain, was considered by Sh.Harpreet Singh Garcha, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) exercising the powers of Collector, Rup Nagar in two petitions filed by Ujagar Singh etc on 18.5.2001 and Mahima Singh etc on 20.4.1998, wherein they sought declaration that they are owners in possession of theShamlat Deh area. The ADC (Development) by two separate orders dated 13.9.2004 dismissed both the petitions holding that the suit land was Shamlat deh andGram Panchayat was the owner of the land. The Gram Panchayat was further directed to remove the illegal encroachers from the suit land within 30 days from the order. The ADC (Development) also gave a finding that the Shamlat land has been classified as Gair Mumkin Choe, Banjar Qadim etc.
“Aggrieved by the above said orders of the ADC (Development), the right holders filed an appeal which was heard by the Director, Rural Development & Panchayats, Punjab and vide order dated 12.4.2006, he accepted the appeal and reversed the orders passed by ADC (Development) exercising the powers of Collector. The Director Rural Development & Panchayats, Punjab held that the land belongs to the proprietors. The Director also upheld the order of Ms. Gaytri Jain, Addional Director Consolidation, Punjab. We have no hesitation in saying that the orders of Ms. Gaytri Jain, Additional Director Consolidation, Punjab and Sh. Sarvjit Singh, Director Rural Development & Panchayats, Punjab are blatantly illegal and mala fide.
The Gram Panchayat filed CWP No.4493 of 2007 which was allowed by a Division Bench consisting of Justice Rajiv Bhalla and Justice Rekha Mittal. The Bench by order dated 31.10.2012 allowed the petition and set aside the order dt 12.4.2006 of Sh. Sarvjit Singh, Director, Rural Development & Panchayats and also of Ms. Gaytri Jain, Addl.Director Consolidation, Punjab’s order dated 10.6.1997. The Bench held that the Shamlat land belongs to the Gram Panchayat and not to the private respondents.
“Based on the High Court judgment in CWPNo. 4493 of 2007 dated 31.10.2012, Mutation No.1946 dated 27.2.2012 was sanctioned and the land has again been shown as Gram Panchayat Deh.
“The net result of the above discussion is that the area of 1476 Kanal 10 - ½ Marla regarding which the ADC, Sh. Harpreet Singh Garcha held the Gram Panchayat as the owner, has been mutated as Gram Panchayat Deh but the possession continues to be of illegal occupants.
“Letter No.148 dated 23.1.2012 from BDPO, Majri to Naib Tehsildar, Majri shows that about 29 acres 3 Kanal & 15 Marla area out of the Shamlat Dehwas acquired for GMADA. The compensation regarding the said area has been paid to the right holders who were illegally occupying the land. The compensation has to be recovered from the right holders and given to the Gram Panchayat.
“It may be mentioned that the High Court in its judgment observed:
“The impugned order, in our considered opinion, is factually and legally incorrect and discloses a blatant and mala fide attempt by the Director, Rural Development and Panchayats, Punjab, to place his stamp of approval on an illegal order passed by the Additional Director, Consolidation, by a reference of facts that were neither germane nor relevant for the controversy before him.”
“Some of the persons who are in illegal possession of the Shamlat land in bulk are as given in the table.
(To be concluded)
Copyright : The Tribune Trust, 2012
JUSTICE KULDIP SINGH SPECIAL TRIBUNAL REPORT PART X : Punjab Land Grab - Scandal right under the nose of state govt
Continuing with the series, The Tribune today reproduces operative portions of the report pertaining to Nada village
Chandigarh, November 18
The Special Tribunal headed by Justice Kuldip Singh has held that Village Nada was a "classic example" of huge Gram Panchayat land measuring more than 200 acres having been "grabbed systematically with the connivance of the Gram Panchayat and the Revenue officials" in Village Nada, which was less than three kilometres from the Punjab Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh.
Since the "land grab scandal" was operating right under the nose of the authorities who are supposed to safeguard the Panchayat Lands, the Tribunal said that the Punjab & Haryana High Court may take congnizance and direct the State Government to free the lands of illegal occupation. Among others, the Report names H. Bajwa, the wife of senior Congress leader, Fateh Jang Singh Bajwa.
The Special Tribunal reached this deduction on the basis of its scrutiny of the revenue records. It held, "Consolidation in the village took place in the year 1962-63 and Misl Hakiat was prepared at that time. The total area of the village is 17773 Kanal 11 Marla. The total area of Gram Panchayat is 16113 Kanal 13 Marla. The personally owned land of the village is only 1659 Kanal 18 Marla. As per the record, 48 Kanal 12 Marla was transferred to Provincial Government (Capital Project) and the remaining land was given the title of Shamlat deh Hasab Rasad Jar Khewat.
“The record shows that on 17.8.1985, Mutation No.1057 was entered by the Village Patwari and column No. 13 (type of mutation) records, “Kiami Hisses“ as per cut imposed during consolidation and as per Naksha Haqdaran war. There is no order from any authority or court for apportioning the shares. This mutation was sanctioned on 2.5.1986 vide which 576 Kanal 16 Marla of Jumla Mustraka Malkan land was apportioned by way of shares in the names of Kauri etc. In the remarks column of Mutation No.1057, it is recorded that Dhanna Ram, Sarpanch and other right holders had filed an application for determination of the shares of right holders and it was on that application that Mutation No.1057 was entered. In this way, out of the total area of 718 Kanal 16 Marla of Jumla Mustraka Malkan shares were apportioned in respect of 576 Kanal and only 142 Kanal 19 Marla remained with Jumla Mustraka Malkan.
“576 kanal land consists of Gair Mumkin Nadi (476 Kanal 8 Marla), Gair Mumkin Khala (84 Kanal 0 Marla) and Gair Mumkin Panchayat Ghar (11 Kanal 12 Marla). It is, thus, very clear that no part of the land measuring 576 Kanal was capable of being partitioned and no actual physical possession was ever delivered to any of the so-called right holders through the process of Revenue Department.
“The matter does not end with the sanction of Mutation No.1057 but the greed of land grabbers is evident by the subsequent events. On record, there is a photo copy of Mutation No.1313 based on Jamabandi of 1993-94.
This mutation as per Column No.13 has been entered for ”Kiami Hisses Barue Darkhast We Hukan Janab Tehsildar Sahib dt“. It pertains to 1009 Kanal 13 Marla of land owned by Shamlat deh Hasab Rasad Jar Khewat and was shown to be in the possession of Malkan. The mutation was entered by Kuldip Singh, Patwari without any date. It also bears signatures of Dalip Singh, Joridar Patwari dt 26.7.1994. Through this mutation, 300688 shares were worked out in the name of Smt. Kauri etc. Before any decision regarding sanction/ rejection of this mutation No.1313 could be taken, the shareholders shown in column No. 9 of the mutation started selling the land in anticipation of sanction of the mutation and 78 sale deeds were executed in the month of June & July, 1994 and 78 mutations bearing No.1317 to 1394 were entered on 13, 14, 16 & 17 February, 1995 and sanctioned on 24.2.1995. However, original Mutation No.1313 was rejected on 28.7.1994 by A. C-2nd Grade. Needless to mention that there was no order or direction from any authority or court for determination of the shares of right holders. Harbhajan Singh Kahlon and his family, who were the largest purchasers of the land filed a civil suit in Kharar seeking a declaration that they were the owners in possession of the land purchased by them vide Mutation No.1317 to 1394 and a mandatory injunction was sought directing defendants (Revenue Officers) to incorporate the effect of Mutations No.1317 to 1394 in jamabandi for 1998-99. Mutation No.1313 which was rejected by A.C-2nd Grade was also challenged.
“However, the suit filed by the petitioners (by Kahlon family) was dismissed by civil court on 11.3.2002. First appeal filed by them was dismissed by the Additional District Judge, Ropar on 22.8.2003. RSA No. 281 of 2004 was filed before the Hon’ble High Court which was admitted on 27.2.2004 when the order dt 30. 12. 2003 passed by the Commissioner, Patiala Division directing the implementation of the mutation on the basis of the sale deeds was brought to its notice. No interim relief was granted. Kahlon family approached the Commissioner, Patiala Division by way of application bearing No.MA 382 of 2003, praying for review of Mutation No.1313 of village Nada and for sanctioning the same and for implementation of Mutation Nos.1317 to 1394.
“While on the revenue side, Kahlon family was able to obtain a favourable order from the Commissioner, Patiala on 30.12.2003, the matter remained pending in the High Court by way of RSA No.281 of 2004. An application was moved by Kahlon family on 12.1.2007 before Collector, Mohali for sanction of Mutation Nos.1313, 1317 to 1394 on the basis of the order dated 30.12.2003 passed by the Commissioner, Patiala Division. On the application CM No.4341 of 2005 moved by Kahlon family, RSA No.281 of 2004 was disposed of on 6.6.2007 as having been rendered in fructuous. They again approached the revenue authorities for entering Mutation Nos. 1317 to 1394 on the basis of Mutation No.1313 having been sanctioned by the Commissioner Patiala on 30.12. 2003 but the matter remained pending till November, 2007 when revenue authorities held that since the suit still remains pending, therefore the orders passed by the Commissioner could not be implemented.
"Kahlon family again filed CM No.11430-C of 2007 in CM No.4341-C of 2005 in RSA No.281 of 2004 seeking clarification/ modification of the order dated 6.2.2007 and for allowing them to withdraw the main suit. That petition was allowed by the High Court by the order dated 22.1 2008 and the order dated 6.2.2007 was modified to the effect that the petitioner had been permitted to withdraw the main suit.
After withdrawal of the main suit according to the petitioners there was no hurdle in the implementation of Mutation Nos. 1317 to 1394 and also because the Gram Panchayat vide resolution dt 25.3.1994 had admitted the claim of the proprietors of Nada qua the land comprised in Khasra No.129/1. Since Mutation No. 1317 to 1394 were not being implemented despite repeated representations, Writ Petition No.9488 of 2008 was filed by the Kahlon family in the High Court on 26.5.2008. The said writ petition was disposed of with direction to the Naib Tehsildar, Majri to decide the representation of the petitioners expeditiously preferably within two months. As of today, all the mutations i.e.1313, 1317 to 1394 stand sanctioned and implemented in the record. "We have tried to verify the possession as per the revenue record.
"Village Nada is a classic case where huge Gram Panchayat deh measuring 16113 Kanal is being grabbed systematically with the active connivance of the Gram Panchayat and the Revenue officers/ officials. ..... The Hon’ble High Court may direct the State Govt to do the needful in all those cases."
(To be continued)
Didn’t buy shamlat land: BS Sandhu
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 18
Reacting to a news item published in The Tribune on November 10 on the basis of the Justice Kuldip Singh Special Tribunal report on illegal occupation of shamlat land by him, Lt Col BS Sandhu (retd) claimed that as per revenue records, the land he had purchased was not a shamlat land.
In a statement, Sandhu said: “From the year 1890-1991, the co-sharers in the shamlat deh were in individual cultivating possession of the land of Karoran village, according to the revenue record assessed on their holding. Even the Vajib- Ul- Araz of the year 1916-17 of Karoran village shows the shamlat land to be in cultivating possession of co-sharers”. He claimed that due to wrong mutation no. 1747, dated August 10, 1977, the ownership of the land was changed which was challenged by the co-sharers. After litigation, the matter was ultimately referred to Assistant Collector, Kharar, who did not decide the case for long. Thereforem a direction dated November 24,1992, was issued by Financial Commissioner, Revenue, to finalise the case without delay.
“This order was challenged by the gram panchayat by way of CWP No. 12610 of 1999 in the Punjab & Haryana High Court which was dismissed on September 7, 1999 by a Division Bench. The review petition was also dismissed on May 4, 2000 and no SLP was filed and thus the order became final”, said Sandhu.
The Assistant Collector, Kharar, thereafter set aside the mutation No. 1747 on April 2, 1993, which was not challenged by gram panchayat Karoran and became final.
Monday, November 25, 2013
JUSTICE KULDIP SINGH SPECIAL TRIBUNAL REPORT PART IX : Punjab Land Grab - Sales based on illegal mutations, connivance of revenue officials
Continuing with the series, The Tribune today reproduces operative portions of the report pertaining to villages Sanauli and Sultanpur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 17
Like in other Punjab villages around Chandigarh, sale of shares of public land on the basis of unauthorised and illegal girdawaries in connivance with the revenue officials has also been pointed out by the Special Tribunal headed by Justice Kuldip Singh in Sanauli and Sultanpur villages.
Castigating the elected village bodies, the Tribunal said that the Gram Panchayats instead of exercising control on the land, became a party to the whole scenario.
Among those persons whose names figure in the Tribunal's scrutiny are those of ADGP Sanjiv Gupta and an Educational Trust run by close relatives of former Union Minister and UT MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal.
Referring to Sanauli Village, the Special Tribunal stated, “The total area of the village is 4435 bigha 4 biswa. The total Shamlat area in the village is 392 bigha 5 biswa. Out of the above total Shamlat land 97 bigha 17 biswa is being used and utilized for common purposes. The jamabandi for the year 2010-11 shows that land measuring 102 bigha 18 biswa has been given on 33 years lease to JTL Education Foundation (a Trust) by the Gram Panchayat. Mutation No.10727 dt 13.2.2011 in this respect has been registered which shows that the lease is for 33 years.
“It may be mentioned that the JTL Education Foundation trust which has taken the lease of 33 years is named ”JTL Education Foundation” which was created by Trust Deed dt 5.4.2010 at Chandigarh. Trustees are:
(i) Sh. Mithan Lal Singla S/o late Jagan Nath Singla, R/o # 105, Sector 28-A, Chandigarh
(ii) Sh. Sandeep Gupta S/o Sh. Puran Chand Gupta, R/o # 6 Sector Astha Enclave, Near Dashera Ground, Kharar, district Mohali and
(iii) Sh.Chetan Singh S/o Sh.Madan Mohan Singh, R/o 105, Sector 28-A, Chandigarh. The photo copy of the Trust deed on record shows that the Trust was registered on 21st April, 2010.
“The lease for 33 years was given by the Gram Panchayat for educational purposes purporting to be under rule 6(3) of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules, 1964. It may be mentioned that there was no publicity etc by the Panchayat land inviting educational institutions to apply for the lease.
“This was one to one transaction. It may be mentioned that settler of JTL Education Foundation Trust, provided in the Trust, a corpus of mere Rs.500/- for the fulfillment of the objective of the Trust. This case has already achieved lot of publicity in the newspapers as the members of this Trust have been linked as close relations of Pawan Kumar Bansal, the former Railway Minister. It is pertinent to mention that Civil Writ Petition No.16494 of 2012 Harshinder Singh vs. State of Punjab etc, wherein the grant of 33 years lease deed to the JTL Education Foundation has been challenged, is pending in the Punjab & Haryana High Court and the next date is 24.7.2013.
Going into revenue records of Sultanpur Village, Tribunal held, “The revenue record of this village shows that 258 Kanal 15 Marla of land as Jumla Malkan Wa Digar Haqdaran Hasab Rasad Rakba. According to the Halqa Patwari, Sh. Balraj Singh, the jamabandis for the year 1972-73 & 1977-78 are not traceable on the record.
“The Mutation Register also starts with Mutation No. 678. Jumla Malkan land though shown as that of the Jumla Malkan but in column of Kashtkar, the names of individual right holders are shown. From December 1993 onwards, the persons’ named in Khana Kashtkar started selling their shares to different outsiders. The jamabandi for the year 2006-07 shows as 236 Kanal 2 Marla as Jumla Malkan but the names of the following persons who have purchased land from the villagers are shown in the Kasht column (above).
Note: (For Table 1) Though the land is shown under the ownership of Jumla Malkan and as such of the Panchayat, it was being sold by the right holders (so called Kashtkar) as their personal property. Transfers have been made by them through sale as well as gifts etc.
Note: (For Table 2) Despite the fact that the above mentioned mutation was not sanctioned and in fact rejected by the A.C-2nd Grade, so called purchaser is still shown as the owner in the Jamabandi of 2001-02 and thereafter including the Jamabandi of 2006-07.
“The land comprising the above mutations was allegedly sold by the Kashtkars namely Tarlochan Singh, Kulwant Singh, Bhupinder Singh s/o Pritam Singh. Tarlochan Singh etc are the right holders of the village. They have got done the girdawaries in their favour.
(To be continued)
JUSTICE KULDIP SINGH SPECIAL TRIBUNAL REPORT PART -VIII: Punjab Land Grab - ‘Well-planned land grab scandal’ around Chandigarh
Continuing with the series, The Tribune today reproduces operative portions of the report pertaining to Saini Majra village
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 16
Dwelling on the issue of Shamlat Deh lands in Saini Majra village, near Chandigarh, Justice Kuldip Singh Special Tribunal mentioned “a very well planned land grab scandal”, which flourished with the collusion of the revenue officials with certain influential persons.
The Tribunal stated that the Gram Panchayats in the area colluded with the “land grab mafia to usurp the lands.” Among those whose names figure in the Tribunal's scrutiny includes that of former Punjab DGP Paramdip Singh.
Saini Majra village
Delving into records of Saini Majra Village, the Special Tribunal stated: “Before partition of the country, this village was inhabited by Muslims who were the only proprietors as shown in the Jamabandi for the year 1942-43. The other residents of the village were Gair Biswadaars. Land measuring 865 bigha is recorded in the Jamabandi for the year 1942-43 as Shamlat Hasab Rasad Jar Khewat. The examination of the latest jamabandi projects a very well planned “Land Grab Scandal”. All the earlier jamabandis show in the Malkiat column as Shamlat Hasab Rasad Jar Khewat. In the column of possession, the entry is “Makbooza Malkan“. These entries have been repeated in the jamabandi of 2007-08.
“In the latest jamabandi for the year of 2007-08 in the ‘Remarks’ column there is an entry dated 3.2.2012 in respect of 1199 Kanal 1 Marla of land in village Saini Majra (HB No.318). The entry is under the heading Rapt No.257 and records the orders of the A.C-2nd Grade, Majri (Naib Tehsildar, Majri), File No.99 regarding correction of girdawari (darusti girdawari) dated 30.12.2011, decided on 27.1.2012. The Patwari while writing the rapat, gave the Khasra Nos of 175 Kittas measuring 1199 Kanal 1 Marla in village Saini Majra. The Rapt further says that according to the order of the A.C-2nd Grade, the girdawari should be corrected in the name of Sh. Paramdip Singh S/o Nachattar Singh, R/o # 500, Sector 16, Chandigarh from the crop Harri 2012 onwards. The Patwari says that the girdawari has been corrected and this Rapt No.257 dated 3. 2. 2012 in the Roznamcha Waqiati has been entered.
“The revenue staff informed the Tribunal that Sh.Paramdip Singh S/o Nachattar Singh is stated to be the then Additional Director General of Police, Punjab. We have no information in this respect. The State Govt may enquire & ascertain who this Paramdip Singh S/o Nachattar Singh, R/o # 500, Sector-16, Chandigarh was. Be that as it may, the fact remains that the huge chunk of land measuring 1199 Kanal 1 Marla which is Shamlat Hasab Rasad Jar Khewat was illegally and erroneously taken possession of by one Paramdip Singh S/o Nachattar Singh from crop Harri 2012 onwards.
“Apart from this Rapt, there is nothing on the record to show as to how and in what manner Sh.Paramdip Singh came into possession of Shamlat land. We have on the record (Photo copy of the order of A.C-2nd Grade & Naib Tehsildar, Majri dated 27.1.2012). Sh. Paramdip Singh S/o Nachattar Singh, R/o 500, Sector 16, Chandigarh filed an application before the Naib Tehsildar, making Sh.Ram S/o Sabo, Gurnam Singh S/o Hari Ram and 16 other residents of village Saini Majra as respondents in the application. The Gram Panchayat was not made a party. In the application, Sh.Paramdip Singh claimed that on the land measuring 1199 Kanal 1 Marla, the details of which is given in the application, he is the owner in possession. He further stated that all around the said land he has earmarked the boundary by a barbed wire. He further stated that he took over the said land from the respondents.
“The Naib Tehsildar further states that he summoned the respondents on 10.1.2012 who filed their affidavits, General Power of Attorneys (GPAs), copies of the wills which were verified and produced before the Naib Tehsildar and stated that the possession of the land in dispute has been delivered by them to Sh. Paramdip Singh. The respondents further stated that they would not have any objection if the girdawari be entered in his name.
“The Naib Tehsildar further states that apart from that a Mushtri Muniadi was got done in the village. Thereafter according to Naib Tehsildar, he personally visited the spot to examine the disputed land where Halqa Patwari along with the record and the respondents were present. All of them supported the case of the applicant and nobody opposed his application. He further stated that on enquiry he found that the respondents are the real owners of the disputed land in terms of the decision of Sh. R. K. Tyagi, PCS, Civil Judge, Sr.Division, Ropar dated 14.6.1996.
“The Naib Tehsildar further stated that on the spot, it is clear that the applicant is in possession of the land. He allowed the application and directed the Patwari to correct the girdawari. We have been informed that the Gram Panchayat, who was not made a party before the Naib Tehsildar has now filed an appeal against the Naib Tehsildar’s order dated 27.1.2012 which is pending before the A.C-1st Grade (SDM, Dera Bassi). It may be mentioned that the Tribunal summoned the judicial file from the Record room pertaining to civil suit for injunction by the residents in representative capacity, who claimed themselves to be the owners of the Shamlat land. The suit was dismissed as not maintainable.
“We have not been able to lay our hands on any finding in the suit that the respondents before the Naib Tehsildar were the owners of the Shamlat land. We are prima facie of the view that reliance by the Naib Tehsildar on the judgment of Sh.Tyagi dated 14.6.1996 is wholly misplaced - rather erroneous.
“The facts stated above clearly show that the order of the Naib Tehsildar dated 27.1.2012 and subsequent correction of girdawari in the name of Paramdip Singh S/o Nachattar Singh is wholly illegal. Prima facie the order and the correction of the girdawari are in collusion with the revenue staff and the respondents in the application.
We may mention that there is another facet regarding this land of which Sh.Paramdip Singh claimed to be the owner and in possession.
“One Balbir Singh Heer S/o Lachhman Singh filed a suit for possession by way of specific performance against Sukhraj Singh S/o Ranjit Singh stating that the respondent entered into an agreement to sell the land to him and he has backed out. The Naib Tehsildar had moved an application in the suit stating that the land being the Shamlat land, neither the respondents nor the plaintiff has any right over the land. This application was dismissed for non prosecution, with liberty to file the application again. The suit was ultimately compromised and a decree for possessory title was passed on 23rd of February, 2013.
“The net result is that the Gram Panchayats in the villages are totally unconcerned with the Shamlat lands. The Gram Panchayats do not control the Shamlat lands rather become a collusive party with the land grab mafia to usurp these lands. The instance of village Saini Majra is where no one is protecting the Shamlat land and the possession over the land is being claimed in collusive and arbitrary manner.
Copyright : The Tribune Trust, 2012
Friday, November 22, 2013
JUSTICE KULDIP SINGH SPECIAL TRIBUNAL REPORT PART -VII: Punjab Land Grab - Special Courts mooted to resolve 30-year disputes in Mullanpur
Continuing with the series, The Tribune today reproduces the operative portions of the report pertaining to Villages Mullanpur Garib Dass and Pallanpur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 15
The Special Tribunal headed by Justice Kuldip Singh has recommended that all 476 petitions relating to village common lands (Shamlat Deh) in Mullanpur Garib Dass pending before quasi-judicial authorities for more than 30 years should be transferred to Special Courts as and when created by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. It observed that a large number of multi-nationals had taken up lands in and around the strategically situated village for constructing flats.
The Special Tribunal has stated that, “as per jamabandi of the year 1944-45, land measuring 2,295 bigha 15 biswa is Shamlat Deh. The entry shows the land as “Shamlat Deh Hassab Rasad Khewat” and the column of cultivation shows “Makbooza Malkan”...... On 5.11.1981, a petition u/s 7(1) of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961, was filed by the Gram Panchayat of village Mullanpur Garib Dass against the Choe Reclamation Society, alias Anjuman Choe, Mullanpur Garib Dass, which was the sole respondent. The petition was for the eviction from the Shamlat Deh land measuring 2,295 bigha 15 biswa. The petition was filed before the District Development and Panchayat Officer exercising the powers of Collector, Roop Nagar. The petition was dismissed by the order dated 31.3.1989, holding that the land did not vest in the Gram Panchayat.
“The Gram Panchayat filed an appeal before the Additional Director, Panchayats, Punjab, exercising the powers of Commissioner, who passed an order dated 12.8.1992, setting aside the order of the DDPO-cum-Collector. Against the said order, the Choe Reclamation Society filed Civil Writ Petition No 5270 of 1994 in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana which was allowed by order dated 5.11.2001 upholding the order of the DDPO-cum-Collector.
“The Gram Panchayat filed Letters Patent Appeal No 972 of 2002 in the Punjab and Haryana High Court which was dismissed on 15.7.2008. Thereafter, the Gram Panchayat, village Mullanpur Garib Dass, filed Special Leave Petition (Civil No. 30254/ 2008/ Civil Appeal No. 833/ 2011) in the Supreme Court. The said appeal was allowed by the Supreme Court vide its order dated 28.9.2011 and all the orders i.e. passed by the Collector, Commissioner, Single Judge, and the LPA Bench of the High Court were set aside and the application of the Gram Panchayat u/s 7(1) of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961 was also dismissed as not maintainable for non impleadment of the proprietors of the village.
“However, it was made clear that both the parties, namely Gram Panchayat of the village Mullanpur Garib Dass and its proprietors may avail their remedies and when it is done, the matter would be decided by the concerned authority in accordance with the law.
“Thereafter, about 476 petitions u/s 11 of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulations) Act, 1961 were filed by certain proprietors of the village against the Gram Panchayat of village Mullanpur Garib Dass before the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) exercising the powers of Collector at Mohali, and those petitions are being contested by the Gram Panchayat of Village Mullanpur Garib Dass.
“Sarpanch, Diwan Singh being very old, deputed Krishan Pal, Member Panchayat of village Mullanpur Garib Dass. As per his averment, he is actively contesting all the above petitions at Mohali. According to him, after getting the above 476 cases scrutinised, 425 cases were found to have been filed in the names of persons already dead and as per the information given by him, the above cases are now pending before the Additional Deputy Commissioner-Cum-Collector, Mohali.
“Moreover, according to the relevant entries in the jamabandi since 1945-46, the entire Shamlat Deh is recorded in the name of Shamlat Deh Hasab Rasad Khewat in possession of Makbuza Malkan. It seems that these entries were later on changed in favour of Gram Panchayat vide mutation no. 2901 dated 5.4.1965, but thereafter the entries regarding ownership from 1971-72 till 2001-02 again came into existence in favour of Shamlat Deh.
“The main averment of the proprietors in their petitions u/s 11 of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulations) Act, 1961, is that there was partition of Shamlat Deh prior to 26.1.1950 when the Shamlat Deh was brought under cultivation by individual land owners. However, there is nothing on the record to show that the Shamlat Deh was ever partitioned in any manner or it was brought under individual cultivation in view of any partition.
“It is significant that it is one joint ‘khewat’ regarding which the ownership in the jamabandi is recorded as of Shamlat Deh Hasab Rasad Khewat and it is in possession of the joint land owners and no individual cultivation.
“Thus, as per the provision of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulations) Act, 1961, the entire Shamlat Deh of Village Mullanpur Garib Dass vests in the Gram Panchayat of the above village and it is its ownership and not of the proprietors of the village.
“However, the question of title regarding the above land is still to be decided by Qusi Judicial Authority, namely Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) - cum- Collector, Mohali, before whom many cases have been filed by the proprietors of the village against the Gram Panchayat and are pending adjudication.
“Village Mullanpur Garib Dass is very strategically situated village and has acquired considerable importance. The above narrated litigation regarding Shamlat Deh land is pending for the last more than 30 years.
“It must come to an end. It is requested that the Honourable High Court may transfer this case to one of the Special Courts, as and when created. A large number of multi-nationals have taken up lands in and around this village and are in the process of constructing flats, etc. We are investigating and scrutinising the status of land in and around this village and would submit further details for the consideration of the High Court”.
The Special Tribunal has commented that in Pallanpur village and surrounding areas, it had got information that the area had been the exploit of politicians, who own large chunks of land either in their names or benami. The panel stated that it was investigating the matter and would submit the report in due course.
The Tribunal stated, “The total land in village Pallanpur is 6,673 kanal and 17 marlas. The area comprises Gair Mumkim (4,897 kanals), Chahi (805 kanal 14 marla), Barani (952 kanal- 9 marla), Bagh Barani (13 kanal 17 marla) Banjar Kadeem (2 kanal 1 marla) and Banjar Jadid (2 kanal and 16 marla).
“Consolidation proceedings in the village were held in 1960-61. According to Patwari Balraj Singh, there is no un-authorised occupant in the village. He stated that the status of the land is as it was shown in the Misl Haqait in the year 1960-61 and it still continues.
“We also called the record of village Pallanpur from the District Forest Office. The record shows that 23 kanal 16 marla of land comprised in 16/11 (6-18), 12 (6-18), 20 (8-0) and 21 (2-0) is entered in the name of Nek Ram s/o Chinta in the revenue record. Eco-Resorts and Taj Travels Limited (H.No. 430, 100 ft Road, Near Baggu Road, Bathinda) wants to set up an Eco Forest Resort at this place. ...“Eco Resorts applied to the Forest Department for setting up a resort in the area. According to the record of Forest Department, permission was granted on 19.11.2011. According to the Forest Officials, no resort has as yet come up.”
Copyright : The Tribune Trust, 2012
JUSTICE KULDIP SINGH SPECIAL TRIBUNAL REPORT PART-VI : Punjab Land Grab - Amarinder Singh & family figure in Majrian illegal deals
Continuing with the series on grabbing of public land brought out by the Special Tribunal headed by Justice Kuldip Singh, The Tribune today reproduces the operative portions of the report pertaining to Majrian village.
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 14
Chandigarh, November 14
Tempering of records and purchase of shares without earmarking of the area by some persons with the connivance of revenue officials are some of the irregularities pointed out by Justice Kuldip Singh Special Tribunal in Majrian village, near Chandigarh. Among the names that figure in the land transactions are those of former Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh and members of his family.
Special Tribunal has recommended suitable punishment against revenue officials if further investigations establish their fraudulent intent and deeds.
The Special Tribunal stated, “The revenue record of this village shows that the total shamlat land in the village as reflected in the jamabandi of 1983-84 and thereafter was 3603 Acre 3 Kanal and 13 Marla which includes the area under hills and also the area of the choes (seasonal rivulets). The area under hills has been shown as 2172 Acre, 7 Kanal and 1 Marla and area under choes as 499 Acre 1 Kanal and 10 Marlas.
“The shamlat land as mentioned above was distributed by the orders of the Consolidation Officer dated 22.4.1991 in Case No 116. The Patwari has given a photo copy of the order to us. The shares of the right holders of the village were determined and incorporated in the order by the Consolidation Officer. The names of all the share holders (1-168) have been given in the order and against their names the numbers of their shares have been indicated. The shares as determined by the Consolidation Officer were incorporated in the record vide mutation No.2026 sanctioned on 7.5.1991 by the Assistant Collector, 2nd Grade.
“While examining the entries incorporated in the mutation register under Mutation No. 2026, the Patwari has invited our attention to some interpolated entries in the list of the right holders which prima facie shows that the records have been tampered with and some sort of fraud was attempted with the connivance of the revenue officials/ officers. The Mutation Register relating to the year 1991-92 shows the following entries:
“All the above mentioned persons who have been shown as share holders, having received shares under the orders of the Consolidation Officer dated 22.4.1991, according to the Patwari are allegedly fake and have been incorporated fraudulently. Their names do not find mention in the order of the Consolidation Officer dated 22.4.1991.
“Admittedly, a large tract of disputed land of village Majrian being shamlat, hilly and choes, there was no justification whatsoever with the Consolidation Officer to pass the order dated 22.4.1991.
The said order is ex-facie without jurisdiction and is a nullity. After the determination of the shares by the Consolidation Officer in the above said order, large number of people pounced upon that area and started buying the shares of the so-called right holders as determined by the Consolidation Officer in his order dated 22.4.1991. A list of about 30 persons, who have purchased comparatively larger number of shares has been placed on the record.
“57 purchasers of the shares, which include Raja Shivdev Inder Singh s/o Raja Maheshinder Singh, Jasmer Singh Jaijee s/o Harchand Singh, Capt Amrinder Singh s/o Yadwinder Singh, Kamaljit Kaur w/o Anmol Singh, Yudnadini Kumari w/o Raja Surinder Singh Nalagarh, Lt. Gen. Amarjit Singh Sandhu s/o Hari Singh, Ajay Jain etc. filed an application before the Assistant Collector, Ist Grade, Kharar on 26.9.2002 requesting that the land subject matter of the application was in the joint names of the parties and as such the same should be partitioned. The Assistant Collector ordered the partition of the area on 18.11.2003 despite objections raised before him that the hilly area could not be partitioned.
“Needless to say that the order dated 22.4.1991 and subsequently the order of partition dated 18.11.2003 are prima facie illegal and cannot be sustained. The land having been shamlat land, the provisions of Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulations) Act, 1961 squarely cover the same and apart from that the land being hilly area, the provisions of the Forest Act and Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1903 have also been violated. Names of some of the persons having large chunks of land are:
“The list of some more persons of the same category have been placed on the record.
“We are prima facie of the view that the order of the Consolidation Officer, Mohali dated 22.4.1991, the order of the Assistant Collector, 1st Grade, Kharar dated 18.11.2003 and the shares purchased by various persons without earmarking of the area, are illegal without jurisdiction and are thus a nullity. Harnam Singh and five others whose names have been mentioned above and who have allegedly tampered with the official record should be suitably punished, if proved after investigation”.
(To be continued)
Copyright : The Tribune Trust, 2012
Thursday, November 21, 2013
JUSTICE KULDIP SINGH SPECIAL TRIBUNAL REPORT PART-V: Punjab Land Grab - Fraudulent civil decree enabled illegal sales
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 13
Terming the sale of shamlat lands in Chhoti and Bari Nagal villages near Chandigarh to an alleged front company of a corporate house in 1993 as "collusive" and "illegal", the Special Tribunal headed by Justice Kuldip Singh has recommended that the lands be restored to the panchayat and defaulters be proceeded against.
The Special Tribunal stated, "The Jamabandi for the year 1975-76 shows that total land in village was 13977 bigha 16 biswas, out of which land measuring 13576 bigha was “Shamlat Deh Hasab Rasad Rakba Khewat” (common land in accordance with ratio in holdings). Shamlat deh land according to Jamabandi included the Gair Mumkin 12473 bigha (hilly and Nadi), Barani (908 bigha 17 biswa), Baag Barani (16 bigha 5 biswa), Banjar Qadim - permanent barren land - (36 bigha 15 biswa) and Banjar Jadid - new barren land - (140 bigha 8 biswa). It is, thus, obvious that out of the total land measuring 13977 bigha 16 biswa, only 401 bigha 16 biswa of land was personally owned by the right holders.
“The right holders of village Chhoti-Bari Nagal filed a suit for declaration in the Court of Nirmal Singh, Sub Judge-III Class, Kharar on 13.3.1992 (Case No.82 dated 13.3.1992), seeking declaration that they were owners in possession and they have effected a partition privately among themselves. The Gram Panchayat and other respondents did not raise any objection and the suit was decreed on 20.12.1993. An un-readable photo copy of the Sub Judge’s order is on the record of this Tribunal. On the basis of the above said order of the Civil Court, Mutation No. 730 was sanctioned on 22.2.1995.
“The decree of the Civil Court was collusive and based on fraud. Apart from that the Civil Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit as the land being Shamlat land was governed by the provisions of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961.
“After obtaining the decree, the right holders sold large chunks of land to different persons. The Jamabandi for the year 2005-06 shows an entry in Khewat No.99, Khatuni No.132 to 354 wherein land measuring 4,747 bighas is shown under the ownership of Fauja Singh Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.,Chandigarh. We are informed that Fauja Singh Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd is a Front Company of the Quark IT Company with headquarters at Mohali. “It may be mentioned that proceedings under the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1972 were undertaken against M/S Fauja Singh Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd before the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Collector (Agrarian), SAS Nagar. The Collector decided the case on 7.10.2010 and permitted the permissible area of land to be retained under the above said Act. The order of the Collector shows that apart from Chhoti-Bari Nagal, the above said land owner had similarly purchased 89 acres in village Majrian and about 40 acres in village Parul (HB No.340).
“It is, thus, obvious that the Shamlat land/ Panchayat/ other public land is being purchased in large chunks by various persons/ corporations from the right holders who have illegally obtained their shares on the basis of the collusive and illegal court decree. “The Jamabandi further shows numbers of sales by the right-holders to different persons. The sales are multiplying every day. The Civil Court decree dated 20.10.1993 mentioned above being collusive and wholly illegal, is liable to be declared a nullity and nonest (not any). The land be restored to the Panchayat by initiating appropriate proceedings against the defaulters.”
(To be continued)
"It is, thus, obvious that the Shamlat land/ Panchayat/ other public land is being purchased in large chunks by various persons/ corporations from the right holders who have illegally obtained their shares on the basis of the collusive and illegal court decree."
Copyright : The Tribune Trust, 2012
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
JUSTICE KULDIP SINGH SPECIAL TRIBUNAL REPORT Part-IV: Punjab Land Grab - In Mirzapur village, the civil court itself violated law
Continuing with the series on grabbing of public land brought out by the Special Tribunal headed by Justice Kuldip Singh, The Tribune today reproduces the operative portions of the report pertaining to Mirzapur village.
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 12
The Special Tribunal headed by Justice Kuldip Singh disclosed how in Mirzapur, a village known for its “khair” forests near Chandigarh, a civil court, which had no jurisdiction to entertain and adjudicate the land title of a suit, decided it in an unprecedented and summary manner. The Tribunal commented that the assumption of the jurisdiction by the civil court and its proceedings were in utter violation of the basics of the Civil Procedure Code. Further, the Punjab Revenue Department determined the fictitious shares without authority.
The Special Tribunal Stated, “The Shamlat deh land in the village was mutated in the name of Gram Panchayat vide Mutation No 570 on June 14, 1955. As per jamabandi pertaining to the year 1962-63 (Misl Haqiat), Mirzpur village had 18,273 bigha 6 biswa of total land, out of which 16,734 bigha 10 biswa was Gram Panchayat deh and the remaining above 1,552 bigha land was in the name of the proprietors of the village.
"18,273 bigha 6 biswa cannot be created by applying a pro-rata cut on 1,538 bigha 10 biswas of land (which is a mathematical impossibility). Therefore, the question of any kind of share of any proprietor in the Gram Panchayat deh could not arise by any stretch of imagination.
“After coming into force of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961, where under the jurisdiction of Civil Court was barred, a few residents of Mirzapur village filed collusive civil suit titled ‘Ami Chand and others versus Gram Sabha village Mirzapur C/o Sehi Ram, Sarpanch’ for the declaration of the title of 16,734 bigha 10 biswa (in the Misl Haqiat shown as 16,721 bigha 6 biswa) Gram Panchayat deh in favour of all the villagers. Suit No 208 instituted on 26.7.1962 was decided by Gurcharan Singh, PCS, Sub Judge, 1st Class, Chandigarh, on 17.10.1962. Photo-copy of the judgement is on the record.
“In the suit, Sarpanch Sehi Ram appeared before the court on behalf of Gram Sabha and made a statement before the court that all the proprietors of the village, including the plaintiffs, are owners of the case property and have been in its possession for the last 100 years, that the land has been mutated in the name of Gram Panchayat deh vide Mutation No 570 dated 14.6.1955 and that he admits the suit of the plaintiffs.
“On the basis of the statement of Sarpanch alone, the suit of the plaintiffs was decreed within a period of three months. The operative part of the order of the court reads, ‘In view of the statement of the defendant that he admits claim of the plaintiffs, their case succeeds which is decreed, leaving the parties to bear their own costs.’
“The order was not appealed against. Needless to say that the order of the civil court was cryptic, against the rules of natural justice and was in violation of the specific provisions of the law.
“There is nothing in the judgement of the civil court to show whether the Sarpanch had any authorisation from the Gram Sabha in the form of its resolution or he filed any written statement on behalf of the panchayat. We would further say that the assumption of the jurisdiction by the civil court and its proceedings were in utter violation of the basics of the Civil Procedure Code.
“As per jamabandi of the year 1962-63, the Gram Panchayat is the owner of 16,734 bigha 10 biswa Gram Panchayat deh. The nature of the land as per jamabandi (revenue record) is Gair Mumkin Pahar (non cultivable hill) and Gair Mumkin (Non cultivable) Nadi (16,078 bigha 7 biswa), Banjar Jadid (5 bigha 16 biswa), Banjar Qadim (305 bigha 9 biswa) and the remaining land is Barani (without canal irrigation). Thus, the land was not cultivable and could not be construed to be under the possession of any person.
“Further, the whole of this area is covered under Sections 4 and 5 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1903. The nature of the land as per jamabandi pertaining to the year 2003-04 is still the same and is locked under the PLPA, 1903. On the basis of collusive decree of the civil court mentioned above, the Revenue Department without any authority or rationale went ahead to determine the fictitious shares of the villagers in the ratio of the proportion of the proprietors’ land in the total proprietary land of 1,552 bigha. The net result is that through this exercise, the Revenue Department allotted land to each of the proprietor 11 times of original lot of land in the village. The fraud is writ large on the face of it and there is no limitation to undo a fraudulent transaction.
“As the panchayat deh of 16,734 bigha 10 biswa land was not created after applying a pro rata cut on the land of the individual landowners of the village, there was no question of its giving back to them. The villagers are selling their notional share in the panchayat deh through registered sale deeds every day. This fraud is the result of the collusion between the villagers, village panchayat, authorities and the Revenue Department.
“There is another aspect relating to this village which may now be stated. Atma Ram, Lambardar and others of Mirzapur village filed a petition under Section 42 of the East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act, 1948, before the Additional Director Consolidation of Holdings on October 20, 1980. In the petition it was prayed that the Shamlat deh Khewat of 15,727 bigha 9 biswa, should be partitioned among them. An objection was raised since most of the area is mountain and could not be partitioned. The Additional Director Consolidation, Gulbahar Singh agreed with the objection and decided that the hilly area could not be partitioned.
“Thereafter, the applicants raised another contention that lot of grass grows on the land which is sold to various paper mills and its proceeds need to be distributed among the right holders and unless the shares are mentioned, the value of the produce, which is substantial, cannot be distributed among the share holders.
“The Additional Director agreed with the contention and only for the purpose of distributing the produce and its value, he mentioned the shares of the right holders for that limited purpose only. The application under Section 42 was disposed of on 5.3.1981. The revenue officials interpreted the order fraudulently to the advantage of the right holders and by Mutation No 897 dated 14.12.1981 mutated the shares in the land in the name of the right holders.
This was, prima facie, a fraud committed by the revenue authorities in connivance with the villagers. Thereafter, the right holders started selling their shares indiscriminately to various persons.
“Prima facie, the following illegalities are involved in this case: The Civil Court had no jurisdiction to entertain and decide the question of title of the suit land, therefore, its decree is a nullity in the eye of law; The suit was collusive and the court also decided it in a cryptic and unprecedented summary way. The Revenue Department without any authority determined the fictitious shares. It involves violation of PLPA 1903, Forest- Laws and Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act 1961”.
Besides the forest laws and regulations, the laws which were violated with impunity in Mirzapur village were:
- Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1903
- Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961
- Civil Procedure Code
SOME OF THE PURCHASERS ARE:
- Late Lachhman Singh Kalka, former minister, MLA and MP and his sons Bhagat Singh and Gajinder Singh, who purchased 157 acres and 6 kanals worth of shares
- Jyoti Dhir w/o Gajan Dhir (62 acres)
- Puran Singh s/o Gurbachan Singh (33 acres 2 kanals)
- Joga Singh - Sukhdev Singh s/o Gurbachan Singh (30 acres 3 kanals)
- Eroded Space Design Panpam Enclave, J. K. Delhi (14 acres)
- SYSS In space Pvt Ltd, Delhi (10 acres)
- Harman Singh s/o Jetha (47 acres 2 kanals)
- Dyal Ram s/o Ami Chand (45 acres 1 kanal)
- Puran Chand s/o Ami Chand (47 acres 1 kanal)
- Jhaju s/o Kapuria (59 acres)
- Jyoti Gupta w/o Sandeep Gupta (13 acres 4 kanal)
- Chetan Gupta w/o Sanjiv Gupta (14 acres)
- Harnama s/o Sadhu (53 acres 3 kanals)
- M/S Solidice Impact Pvt Ltd, Ludhiana (20 acres 1 kanal)
- Rajesh Punia s/o Dharam Singh, Panchkula (21 acre 4 kanal)
- And a large numbers of other persons
Copyright : The Tribune Trust, 2012.