Tuesday, September 4, 2012

SC nod for judicial probe against high-ups


Posted: Sep 01, 2012 at 0035 hrs IST

Chandigarh Revenue/civil courts in Punjab to function, transfer/sale of shamlat land can now take place 

In a significant development which may spell trouble for the land grabbers and higher-ups who own illegal properties in the city’s periphery and other areas of Punjab, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the probe to be carried out by a judicial tribunal.

The tribunal was constituted on the directions, issued on May 30 this year, of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Demanding a stay over the setting up of a judicial tribunal, the Punjab government had moved the Supreme Court. After detailed arguments, a division bench of the apex court refused to stay the functioning of the tribunal, headed by Justice (retd) Kuldip Singh, a former Supreme Court judge. 
However, in an interim relief for the Punjab government, the Supreme Court lifted the stay on the functioning of revenue and civil courts in the state. Also, transfer/sale/lease of shamlat land was allowed in the state. The landowners, who had initially moved the High Court, were issued notices by the apex court and granted three weeks’ time to respond to the special leave petition (SLP) filed by the Punjab government. It is the para number 16 of the High Court judgment which was stayed by the apex court (see box). 
The judicial tribunal will begin its probe against the higher-ups, senior bureaucrats and IPS officers accused of possessing properties in the city’s periphery. The investigation report prepared by former Punjab additional director general of police Chander Shekhar also included a list of senior politicians, from SAD and Congress, who had unauthorisedly possessed properties in Chandigarh’s periphery. 
The Punjab government, in its SLP, had stated that the High Court order had adversely affected the transfer of common land in the state. So much so that some of the government projects had also been affected. 
The state said statutory bodies like the revenue commissioners had stopped entertaining cases and appeals after the High Court’s order, and it had put a complete stay on registration of sale deeds regarding shamlat deh land. 
As an immediate relief, the Punjab government had demanded that the HC order should be stayed immediately so that the revenue court and civil courts could adjudicate disputes pertaining to transfer/sale and alienation of common land.

© 2012 The Indian Express Limited. All rights reserved.


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