Tuesday, November 19, 2013


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 Bartana village. The Tribunal was formed on the directions of the Punjab & Haryana High Court.

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 11

While dwelling on the issue of grabbing of the shamlat and panchayat lands, the Special Tribunal headed by Justice Kuldip Singh brought out how Kuldip Singh Minhas, Director, Consolidation of Holdings, Punjab, himself became the beneficiary by passing an illegal order regarding the partition of a shamlat land in Bartana village. The tribunal has asserted that Director, Consolidation of Holdings, had no jurisdiction to entertain any petition under section 42 of the Consolidation Act and order working out of the shares of Patidars (individuals). From the shares, Kuldip Singh and his son purchased 9 bigha and 3 biswas of land and sold it further.

The Special Tribunal stated, “This report relating to village Bartana is based on the enquiry made into the public lands in the village under the directions of the High Court received vide the A.R. (Writs) letter No. 2165/W-1 dated 13.7.2012. .....The investigation is primarily in relation to the land acquired by Kuldip Singh Minhas S/o Sh Jagir Singh stated to be the then Director Consolidation of Holdings, Punjab, his son Gurmohan Singh and their relations.

“The land in dispute was shown as Shamlat land in the Jamabandi of the year 1950-51. The Jamabandi for the year 1959-60 shows the land belonging to ‘Nagar Panchayat’. In 1951-52, the total area of panchayat land was 1489 bigha 14 biswas. After the consolidation proceedings, in the Jamabandi of 1959-60, the total area shown is 1104 bigha 7 biswas (including shamlat deh measuring 55 bigha 19 biswas).

“On 9.5.1985, Sh Kuldip Singh Minhas, Director, Consolidation of Holdings, Punjab, Chandigarh, ordered in Petition No.109/85 that the above said panchayat land be distributed amongst the Patidars as per their shares mentioned against shamlat deh prior to the start of the consolidation proceedings.

“He remanded the case to the Consolidation Officer with the direction that he should work out the shares of Patidars/ individual right holders and accordingly distribute the total area amongst the right holders as per their shares based on “hassab rasad rakba khewat” (in accordance to the ratio in holdings). The Director, Consolidation of Holdings, further ordered that Mutation No 311 on the basis of which the land was shown under the ownership of the Gram Panchayat should be ignored.

“The Consolidation Officer determined the shares of each of the right holders in the above said land. Mutation No 822 was entered in the revenue record and sanctioned on 15.1.1986. The shares of the different share holders are reflected in the revenue record under Mutation No 822. At the back of page-13 of the Mutation Register for the year 1986, while narrating the names of the owners in Mutation No 822 under column No 9, the names of Smt Meeto, Ajmer Kaur, Paramjit Kaur, Baljit Kaur, Rani and Niranjan Singh have been shown.

“At page-14 of the said register in column No 10, there is an entry which shows that the above mentioned Smt Meeto etc.(vendors), whose shares were determined in Mutation No 822, sold 9 bigha 3 biswas of their land to (vendees) Sh Kuldip Singh S/o Jagir Singh - (½ share) and Gurmohan Singh S/o Kuldip Singh (remaining ½ share). The Director, Consolidation, who ordered the distribution of shares amongst the right holders, himself became the beneficiary under his own order. The said entry could not be incorporated under the said mutation.

“We have personally seen the Mutation Register. There is no separate entry of ownership in the name of Kuldip Singh and his son Gurmohan Singh and no separate mutation has been registered. The only entry is at page-14 of the Mutation Register and that also under Mutation No 822. Column No 10 at page-14, the entry showing the names of Kuldip Singh and his son Gurmohan Singh as purchasers has been shown in different ink and prima facie seems to have been interpolated. Kuldip Singh sold 1 biswa out of share which he acquired in the manner narrated by us above, to Avtar Singh, Jagtar Singh etc.

“Mutation No 1523 dated 28.7.1993 has been entered in the Mutation Register. Kuldip Singh sold further 3 biswa 10 biswasis of land to Gurmel Singh etc., vide Mutation No 1524 dated 28.7.1993. He further sold 4 bigha 1 biswa 14 biswasis of land to Shyama Rani etc. vide Mutation No.17362 dated 30.3.2007. The remaining share of Kuldip Singh measuring 4 biswa 16 biswasis continues to be in his ownership under the revenue record.

“Gurmohan Singh S/o Kuldip Singh sold his total share in the land measuring 4 bigha 12 biswas to Ranjit Singh S/o Bachitar Singh S/o Jagir Singh (his maternal uncle’s son) vide Mutation No 1745 dated 18.7.1994.

“Ranjit Singh sold 15 biswas of land to Sat Pal etc., vide Mutation No 4579 sanctioned on 21.11.1997. He sold 2 bigha 2 biswas to Niranjan Kumar etc. vide Mutation No 6015 dated 17.9.1998. He further sold 8 biswas of land to Sat Pal etc. vide Mutation No 4662 dated 30.12.1997. The remaining 1 bigha 7 biswas of land continues to be shown under the ownership of Ranjit Singh S/o Bachitar Singh in the revenue record.

“The land being Shamlat land in the Jamabandi of the year 1950-51 and belonging to Nagar Panchayat in the subsequent Jamabandis, the Director Consolidation of Holdings, Punjab had no jurisdiction to entertain any petition under Section 42 of the Consolidation Act and order working out the shares of Patidars/ individuals. The order is without jurisdiction, illegal and is a nullity. The order is liable to ignored.

“We have prima facie come to the conclusion that in case Sh Kuldip Singh is the one who was the Director, Consolidation, in this case then he has himself become beneficiary under his own order. Investigation should be initiated in his conduct and suitable action be taken. The land which has been virtually given to the Patidars by an order which is a nullity should be redeemed and handed over to the Nagar Panchayat.

About KS Minhas

Kuldip Singh Minhas, against whom the Special Tribunal recommended action, is no more. He died a few months ago. He had joined the Punjab Government as a PCS officer who was later promoted to the IAS. He also remained the president of the Wrestling Federation of India.

Copyright : The Tribune Trust, 2012

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