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

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