Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Our revenue, civil Courts are defunct: Punjab govt

Raghav Ohri : Chandigarh,
Wed Aug 22 2012

Periphery properties: Punjab moves Supreme Court against High Court order, says no transfer of common land is taking place

Stating that the revenue and civil Courts in the State have become virtually defunct after the Punjab and Haryana High Court set up a Judicial tribunal to probe properties allegedly owned by high-ups in the city’s periphery and in the State, the Punjab government has moved the Supreme Court. In a detailed special leave petition (SLP), the Punjab government has stated that the said order of the High Court has adversely affected the transfer of common land in the State. So much so that some government projects have also been affected, the State has submitted in its SLP.

The State has further stated that statutory bodies like the Revenue Commissioners have stopped entertaining cases and appeals pending before them after the High Court’s order. Punjab has further submitted that the High Court’s order has put complete stay on registration of sale deeds regarding shamlat deh land. The SLP, which is likely to come up for hearing before the apex Court later this week, demands quashing of the HC order passed on May 25.

As an immediate relief, the Punjab government has demanded that the High Court’s order should be stayed immediately so that the Revenue Court and Civil Courts can adjudicate disputes pertaining transfer/sale and alienation of common land. It might be mentioned here that the SLP was filed by Punjab in the Supreme Court last Friday but could not come up for hearing since the government had made Financial Commissioner Revenue (FCR) as the petitioner. Objecting to FCR being made the petitioner, the Supreme Court had asked Punjab to change the petitioner.

Further, the State has submitted that after five years of investigation, a senior Punjab Police official has already submitted his report with regard to land illegally occupied by various high ups and that there is no requirement for setting up a Judicial tribunal. Punjab has added that the setting up of a Judicial Tribunal by the High Court was beyond the scope of the petition filed before it.

Meanwhile, as directed by the High Court, the Punjab government has issued a notification providing premises to the Judicial TRibunal headed by Justice (retd) Kuldip Singh. The Tribunal will function from a building in Sector 17. The Tribunal has also been given staff to begin its probe. Though the State was given two weeks time, on May 30, to provide infrastructure, the Punjab government had not done so for over three months. An application was then filed in the High Court, a fortnight back, demanding contempt proceedings against Punjab for not complying with Court directions.

A notification providing infrastructure was passed today by the State government. Also, an application was filed by litigants whose cases are pending before Revenue Commissioners. The litigants sought clarification on the orders passed by the High Court. The litigants have submitted that the Revenue Commissioners and other statutory bodies are not entertaining the property dispute cases pertaining to common village land after the High Court directions. The High Court has issued notices to Punjab asking it to respond by within two weeks.

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