Monday, November 25, 2013
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