Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gwal Pahadi row: Land in question was village common land, reveals revenue record

It was a gram panchayat land (shamlat deh) and could have been transferred to municipal corporation and not individuals, the HC bench orally said.

Updated: May 04, 2017 21:32 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh

Revenue records produced by the Haryana government before the Punjab and Haryana high court have revealed that the controversial 464 acres of Gwal Pahari land in Millenium City was common village land and could not have been transferred to individuals.

The high court also observed that the mutation whereby title of land was changed in the 80s was wrong. It was a gram panchayat land (shamlat deh) and could have been transferred to municipal corporation and not individuals, the HC bench orally said.

Following the revelation, the Punjab and Haryana high court has now directed the Haryana government to submit details as to how much land out has been encroached upon by the next date of hearing. High court also asked the municipal corporation to start process of vacating land from individual occupants.

The direction was issued by high court bench of justice Justice SS Saron and Justice Darshan Singh while hearing a petition seeking a CBI probe on the controversial mutation of land.

Revenue officials such as tehsildar/naib tehsildar and revenue patwari and Kanoongo having the charge of village Gwal Pahari were present in court and produced record pertaining to the land.

The high court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Harinder Dhingra, a city resident, seeking CBI probe arguing that bureaucrats, politicians and local revenue officials were involved in the issue. An independent probe by an agency such as the CBI was required to ascertain the people behind involved in the mutation of prime land, he had argued.

As per the petitioner, ownership of the disputed land was with the gram panchayat of Gwal Pahari since 1940 and transferred to municipal corporation of Gurugram in 2010. Then financial commissioner (revenue),Yudhvir Singh Malik was not competent to pass an order on mutation in 2012, which the petitioner alleged had “favoured” some builders. Malik had passed the order on the application of a private party challenging the 2010 transfer of land.

Malik’s decision was challenged by MCG before financial commissioner Surina Rajan, who stayed the order. But in October 2015, SS Dhillon, an IAS officer, restored the same. Thereafter, the matter had reached the state government and a decision was taken for mutation of land in favour in MCG. But this order too was declared void in January, 2017 by district collector TL Satyaprakash. District collector ‘s decision has now been stayed by Gurgaon divisional commissioner D Suresh in February, as per the petitioner.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rs 50-cr shamlat land passed off as pvt land

Role of panchayat dept officials under scanner

Aman Sood I Tribune News Service I Patiala, April 30


Panchayat members show the 180-acre village 

common land at Arno in Patiala district on Sunday. 
Tribune photo: Rajesh Sachar
Arno village in Shutrana block of the district is battling to save 180-acre village common land (shamlat) from being transferred to some persons, allegedly due to complicity between land sharks and some officials of the Rural Development and Panchayat Department.

The state government has promised to probe the matter and establish the role of officials, including an IAS officer, “who acted against the department’s interest, days before retirement” and allegedly passed off the land worth over Rs 50 crore as “private”.

Members of the Arno panchayat alleged that the land was labelled as “disputed”, “not falling under the definition of shamlat as per Section 2(G) of the Punjab Village Common Lands Regulation Act, 1961”. They claimed that a Joint Development Commissioner, who retired in February, gave the decision in favour of some individuals without giving a hearing to the panchayat.

Amarjeet Kaur, counsel for the panchayat, said the then Joint Development Commissioner and his staff had adjourned the case on the scheduled date of hearing, without informing her about the next date.

“Days before the officer retired, the case was abruptly decided against us. We approached the then Financial Commissioner and got a stay on the order,” she alleged. Panchayat Secretary Rajinder Singh said, “A high-level probe is needed as these persons are not even depositing the lease money, causing losses to the state,” he said.

“In 2014-15, the land had fetched Rs 30 lakh in lease money from the individuals who claimed ownership. However, a few village residents, claiming to be migrants from Pakistan during Partition, said they were the owners and had initially taken the land on lease. We have documents to show that the land is shamlat, but the department officials have given us no opportunity to be heard,” said sarpanch Ramesh Kumar.

Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said he would order a probe by a senior officer to find out whether departmental officials had connived with land sharks.


Monday, June 5, 2017

80 encroachments on pond land razed

During rains, adjoining areas were getting flooded

Our Correspondent I Abohar, March 7


A demolition drive in progress at Khuyiansarwer village
near Abohar on Tuesday. Tribune Photo
As many as 80 houses and shops which had allegedly been constructed by encroaching upon land for village ponds were demolished in a major drive in Khuyiansarwer village today.

Naib Tehsildar Jatinderpal Singh, BDPO Dharam Pal Sharma, panchayat officer Darshan Singh and Khuyiansarwer SHO Gurveer Singh supervised the operation during which JCB machines were used. Although a heavy posse of police was deployed, there was little resistance to the drive.

Official sources said 170 families had raised illegal structures over the dry ponds resulting in flooding of adjoining areas during monsoons. The area earmarked for ponds was 68 kanal as per panchayat record but hardly 10 per cent of the same was free of encroachments.

The authorities were to submit a compliance report on this count to the High Court by April 25 but the drive had been postponed due to elections.

Notably, the HC had in February 2014 directed the state government to submit the report against encroachers of government/ panchayat land as ordered by the Supreme Court in 2011.

The SC had directed all states and UT’s to evict illegal/unauthorised occupants of gram sabha/gram panchayat/ shamlat land and restore the land to the panchayats for the common use of villagers.

Regularisation should only be permitted in exceptional cases where lease has been granted under some government notification to landless labourers or SC/ST’s or where there is already a school, dispensary or public utility on the land, the court observed. Information reveals that 125 acres of pond land in Abohar sub division had been encroached, mostly by political activists during the past decade.

Friday, March 10, 2017

In Other Courts: Allahabad High Court - Saleem Ullah Khan Vs State Of U.P. Thru Secy. And Others

eLegalix - Allahabad High Court Judgment Information System (Judgment/Order in Text Format)

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD 

?Court No. - 29 

Case :- WRIT - C No. - 28482 of 2012 

Petitioner :- Saleem Ullah Khan 
Respondent :- State Of U.P. Thru Secy. And Others 
Petitioner Counsel :- Ravi Shanker Tiwari 
Respondent Counsel :- C.S.C.,R.D. Mishra 

Hon'ble Vineet Saran,J. 
Hon'ble Virendra Vikram Singh,J. 

Heard learned counsel for the petitioner as well as learned Standing Counsel appearing for the respondents no. 1 to 3 and Sri R.D. Mishra for the respondent no. 4 and have perused the record. In view of the nature of the order, which is being passed, this writ petition is disposed of without issuing notice to the private respondents. 

The grievance of the petitioner is that the land which is registered as a pond has been allotted to the respondent no. 5 and 6, which is against the directions of the Apex Court passed in Civil Appeal No. 1132 of 2011 (Jagpal Singh and others vs. State of Punjab and others) and in the case of Hinch Lal Tiwari vs. Kamala Devi and others, AIR 2001 SC 3215. With regard to such grievances, the petitioner has already approached the respondent authorities but no orders have yet been passed. 

Learned Standing Counsel states that the grievance of the petitioner can be looked into by the respondent no. 3-Sub Divisional Magistrate, Tehsil Sadar, District Shahjanhapur. 

Considering the facts and circumstances of this case, we dispose of this petition with the direction that with regard to his grievances made in this petition, the petitioner may file an application before the respondent no. 3 under the provisions of the U.P. Z.A.& L.R. Act. If such application is filed by the petitioner within two weeks from today along with certified copy of this order, the respondent no. 3 shall pass appropriate orders, in accordance with law after giving opportunity of hearing to the petitioner as well as respondents no. 5 and 6 and other concerned parties, if there be any. The decision may be taken by the respondent no. 3 preferably within three months from the date of filing of such application by the petitioner. 

With the aforesaid observations/directions, this writ petition is disposed of. No order as to costs. 
Order Date :- 1.6.2012 

aBhiShek 
(Virendra Vikram Singh, J.) (Vineet Saran, J.) 

http://elegalix.allahabadhighcourt.in/elegalix/WebShowJudgment.do

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Indian film heroes tackle land rights & champion underdog

February 9, 2017 I Rina Chandran I Thomson Reuters Foundation



A villainous company. Corrupt government officials. A heroic defender of farmers emerging victorious from a fight over land.
This is far from a typical storyline for Indian film, which more often promises movie-goers a diet of syrupy romances, family dramas or all-action flicks.
But a slew of regional-language movies has made unlikely heroes of those who defend Indians’ land rights, showing how the fight over land now influences the country’s popular culture, which generally shies away from contentious issues.
“At this moment in time, the bad guy in the movies is the one taking land from the poor farmer or villager,” said S.V. Srinivas, a professor of cultural studies at the Azim Premji University.
While land rights have featured in small-budget, regional films in the past, at least half a dozen recent, big-budget movies from the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been about land. India’s voracious movie-going public has also seen popular actors starring in the top roles, with the underdog emerging on top.
“Seeing the hero beat up the land grabber or put him in jail is the winning formula now,” Srinivas told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Conflicts related to property have risen as demand for land for industrial projects has grown to boost development for India’s 1.3 billion citizens.
Legislation passed in 2013 was meant to protect the rights of farmers, ensuring consensus in any land transaction, rehabilitation for those displaced, and compensation up to four times the market value.
But several states, including Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, have since introduced laws to make acquisitions easier.
Earlier this month, a Telugu language film ‘Khaidi No. 150’, starring popular actor Chiranjeevi, took more than 1 billion rupees ($15 million) on its first weekend, the definition of a blockbuster in India.
The film is a remake of the Tamil film Kaththi (Knife), about farmers committing suicide after their land is acquired for a factory. It was one of the biggest Tamil films of 2014.
Another Tamil film, ‘Rajapattai’, featuring popular actor Vikram, told the tale of an old man forced to give up his home.
The 2015 Odisha film ‘Adibhumi’ (Ancestral Land), about a family forced out of their village for a steel plant, is loosely based on the unrest caused by South Korean firm POSCO’s plan to set up a steel plant in the eastern state in 2005.
Violent protests ensued as indigenous communities resisted the takeover of forest land for what was then India’s biggest foreign investment deal of about $12 billion.
“I am no activist, but I was deeply affected and wanted to show how our land acquisition policy is flawed, and how it affects poor, marginalised people most,” said Satyabrata Dwibedy, the director.
Earlier this month, a popular classical singer starred in a music video appealing for the protection of common lands.
Other Telugu movies with land as a theme include last year’s blockbuster ‘Sarrainodu’ (Right Man) and ‘Racha’, about land taken for mining.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Govt wants back land given to poor families

332 BPL families will get notices to vacate plots

Deepender Deswal I Tribune News Service I Hisar, February 20

The district administration is set to serve eviction notices on 332 Dalit families who had been allotted 100 square yard plots each in 2010-11 under Mahatma Gandhi Gramin Basti Yojna for below poverty line (BPL) families.

Around half of these families had started residing here after construction of houses on the plots. The matter came to light when the remaining applicants eligible under the scheme approached the authorities to hand over plots to them.


The issue was taken up in the district public relations and grievances committee meeting on December 21 last year.


Sources said the Panchayat Department had objected to carving out of plots on common land as it had been earmarked as pond land in the revenue record.


A Supreme Court verdict in 2011 had stated that common land in any village could not be encroached upon for any purpose and issued directions to state governments to ensure removal of encroachment from such land.


In view of the apex court verdict, minister Banwari Lal, who chaired the committee meeting, directed the authorities to get the entire common land evicted by cancelling the allotment of plots to beneficiaries.


Acting on the minister’s directions, the Panchayat Department started the process of serving eviction notices on them.


The department sought the names of officials responsible for the carving out of residential plots on common village land in violation of Supreme Court directions, the sources said.


District Development and Panchayat Officer Arvind Malik said the department would acquire land elsewhere for allotment to beneficiaries under the BPL scheme.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/govt-wants-back-land-given-to-poor-families/366949.html

Monday, February 27, 2017

Panchayat Land Encrochment: HC stays proceedings of panchayat land grab cases in Mohali, Rupnagar

The directions came during the resumed hearing of a bunch of petitions alleging encroachment on panchayat land in Mohali.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published:February 8, 2017 4:02 am

THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court on Tuesday put a stay on further proceedings in all the pending cases of panchayat land grab in Mohali and Rupnagar districts by VIPs and other people. A division bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and Sudip Ahluwalia directed the Punjab government to submit a list of officers with established integrity to whom the task of Collector as well as Commissioner-cum-Appellate Authority under the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961, could be assigned to enforce recommendations of the tribunal headed by Justice (retd) Kuldip Singh.

The directions came during the resumed hearing of a bunch of petitions alleging encroachment on panchayat land in Mohali. In two interim reports submitted by the tribunal constituted by the High Court in 2013, it was pointed out that thousands of acres of shamlat (government) land was being grabbed “right under the nose of authorities” by politicians, bureaucrats, police officers and others in about 65 villages on Chandigarh’s periphery.

During the earlier hearing of the case, the Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Department had informed the court that a total of 1,919 cases of government land encroachments were pending before the court of collector-cum-district development and panchayat officer, Mohali; collector-cum-additional deputy commissioner, Mohali; and commissioner-cum-joint development commissioner (IRD). Most of the cases pertain to villages in Kharar block including Karoran, Parach, Cholta Kalan, Mastgarh, Majri and Sanauli.

The court on Tuesday ordered the state government to prepare a panel of advocates in consultation with its Additional Advocate General Reeta Kohli and amicus curiae senior advocate M L Sareen so as to entrust those advocates all such cases of land grab either filed by the village panchayats or against the panchayats.

The court also directed the state government to submit a list of all such cases which have been filed by different village panchayats under Section 7 or 11 of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961, by March 14.

The court told the Punjab government to explore the option as to whether the powers of a revenue court could be given to the civil courts to decide title of the land in such cases and for that, there is a need of amendment in the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961.

The amicus curiae had submitted before the court that the state government was reluctant to implement the recommendations of Justice Kuldip Singh Tribunal for the reasons best known to it.

The amicus curiae had suggested that the state authorities should register FIRs and go ahead so that next time people do not dare to indulge in government land encroachments.

The case was posted for next hearing to March 14.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Haryana govt to start ‘Har Gaon Pedon Ki Chhaon’ scheme

To create at least one environmentally significant grove in each village during its 'Golden Jubilee' year, the Haryana government plans to implement the 'Har Gaon Pedon Ki Chhaon'

By PTI Feeds | Published: January 30, 2017 7:12 PM IST

Chandigarh, Jan 30 (PTI): To create at least one environmentally significant grove in each village during its ‘Golden Jubilee’ year, the Haryana government plans to implement the ‘Har Gaon Pedon Ki Chhaon’ scheme, under which plantation of 100 indigenous plants would be undertaken across the state.

The scheme would be implemented from February-March, a spokesman of the Forests Department said here today.

Haryana is celebrating its Golden Jubilee year from November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017. The state was carved out as a separate entity 50 years ago on November 1, 1966.

The spokesperson said that the scheme was aimed at developing the roadside avenue of approach roads leading to and radiating from the districts, up to a distance of one km.
He said that the department would undertake plantation of trees and shrubs having aesthetic value along such roads.

The spokesman said that plantation would be carried out on panchayat land in consultation with the village panchayats. The native tree species, including fruit-bearing plants, would be preferred, he added.

He said that a city forest was also being developed at Murthal in district Sonipat, covering an area of 116 acres. As many as 16,000 plants of 62 species would be planted in the forest. 

The plantation would be carried out from February onw rds. So far, 2,500 tall plants of different species such as Pipal, Neem, Jamun and Chukrasia have been planted in the area, he added.

Apart from this, it is being planned to carry out eco- restoration of the Brahmsar wetland in village Thana, district Kurukshetra, besides developing the area as conservation reserve in view of potential of the water body to support an array of aquatic flora and fauna.

He said that work was also underway to renovate Morni Fort in district Panchkula and develop it as a heritage property.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Protect common land: Indian classical singer makes unusual appeal

By 

MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A popular Indian classical singer stars in a new music video appealing for the protection of common land in Chennai city, amid an increasingly bitter fight over the use of communal lands for industry and development.

'Chennai Poromboke Paadal', or Chennai common land song, sung by Carnatic music vocalist T.M. Krishna, is about the destruction of Ennore creek in the southern Indian city.

While the world "poromboke" in Tamil originally meant community land, including water sources and grazing land, it has come to be used as a pejorative term for both people and places.

"Poromboke is in the margins, and people who are dependent on them are also relegated to the margins," said environmental activist Nityanand Jayaraman, who drew attention to the destruction of the creek, which activists say is being polluted by thermal power stations and a port.

"These lands are important to communities dependent on them, and are of great importance to the environment. But the word itself is now a dirty word, and it's reflected in our devaluing of common lands," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Common lands, including government forest areas, make up more than a third of India's total land area, according to the last survey in 1998.

Common lands provide food, water, fodder and livelihood to rural communities, and also help maintain ecological balance.

As demand for land rises in India to boost growth, common lands are being taken over for industrial and development projects, including mines, power plants and colleges.

"The takeover of common lands is arguably larger in scale than the takeover of private lands, affects far more people, and is often more brutal," said Shankar Gopalakrishnan at rights group Campaign for Survival and Dignity.

While several laws have been introduced to protect the land rights of farmers and indigenous communities, the laws are diluted and poorly implemented, activists say.

The Ennore creek, a network of rivulets and mangroves, is the pathway for two rivers draining into the Bay of Bengal.

In the music video, a group of musicians wearing pollution masks sit at the edge of the creek, with Krishna singing the colloquial Tamil song in classic Carnatic style, as smokestacks and transmission towers gradually appear in the background.

"Poromboke is not for you, poromboke is not for me; it is for the community, it is for the earth," he sings.

"Poromboke is in your care; poromboke is in my care. It is our common responsibility towards nature, towards the earth."

A panel set up to study the effects of the damage to Ennore creek last April recommended penalties on polluting industries, as well as a moratorium on their expansion.

It also blamed government agencies including the pollution control board and coastal management authority for turning a blind eye to the damage.

In response, government officials said the industries were asked to dredge the creek ahead of the monsoon rains, and monitor the dumping of fly ash and earth.

The music video, which has been viewed more than 55,000 times on YouTube since its weekend launch, may help spur more action, said Jayaraman, who tapped his friends for money to make the video.

"We need to change our notion of poromboke - the common land, as well as the word itself," he said.




(Reporting by Rina Chandran @rinachandran, Editing by Ros Russell. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.)

http://in.mobile.reuters.com/article/specialEvents6/idINKBN1501I4

Monday, February 20, 2017

Policy in offing to retrieve state's encroached land: J-K min

Press Trust of India |  Jammu 
January 11, 2017 Last Updated at 18:22 IST


The Jammu and Kashmir government today said that they would formulate a comprehensive policy to retrieve the encroached state and Kahcharai land. 

Replying to a question by Surinder Mohan Ambardar in the state Legislative Council, Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Syed Basharat Bukhari said 67,544 kanals of Kahcharai land in various districts are under unauthorized occupation.

Though the eviction of unauthorised land is a continuous process but due to prevailing situation in the state, especially in Kashmir Valley, the work for retrieving of encroached land was halted to some extent, he said. 

The minister asserted that formulation of a comprehensive policy for eviction of the encroached land is necessary and very soon this policy would be framed, under which strict action would be taken against the encroachers. 

Bhukhari said that utmost priority of the state government is to retrieve all encroached land, whether the state's or Kahcharai, and that it would be utilised for developing public infrastructure besides other welfare activities. 

He said the list of individual occupants of the land being voluminous is being compiled and can be provided to the members separately. 

The field officials of the department are under explicit instructions to take effective steps for eviction of unauthorized occupation upon Kahcharai land, he added. 

Bhukhari said the government has taken necessary measures to retrieve the state/common land from the encroachers and illegal occupants by impressing upon all subordinate field functionaries in accordance with various laws in force. 

MLCs Javaid Ahmad Mirchal, Yasir Reshi, Saif-ud-Din Bhat and Ajat Shatru Singh raised supplementary questions.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Friday, February 17, 2017

We want water not ‘power,’ says Barmer village; Protests power substation

At the ‘ratri choupal,’ the village meeting held with the district collector on Friday, villagers of Korna, Pachpadra tehsil, in Barmer district protested against the administration’s plan to construct a power substation at a spot frequented by migratory birds.

Rosamma Thomas  |  TNN  |  Updated: January 09, 2017, 16:21 IST

JAIPUR: At the 'ratri choupal,' the village meeting held with the district collector on Friday, villagers of Korna, Pachpadra tehsil, in Barmer district protested against the administration's plan to construct a power substation at a spot frequented by migratory birds.

Villagers said that the land also served as a rich catchment area for water due to which there was no water scarcity in the area. However, district collector Sudhir Kumar Sharma tried to convince the people that they should not come in the way of development.

In September 2016, Barmer district authorities sought to allot about 400 bighas of land in Korna for a power substation. In revenue records, this land is listed as 'gauchar' or grazing land, marked for cattle to graze. This area serves as a catchment area for several large lakes in the vicinity, including the largest in the Jodhpur division, Gangawas. Several migratory birds nest in the trees in this area. The Sarus crane and a large number of migratory and resident birds, including flamingoes, can be spotted here in winter. Cattle from over 20 villages graze here.

On November 9, the gram panchayat of Mulki Dhani wrote to district authorities, with an elaborate explanation, on why the substation should be shifted elsewhere to barren land.

"Korna's 'khasra' number 27 is 'gauchar' land. The 400 bighas to be allotted to the substation would ruin a rich catchment area for some of the largest lakes in Jodhpur division, including Gangawas. Over 9,000 cattle from 24 villages in the vicinity are dependent on the waterbodies that are recharged because of this land. Wild animals too are sighted in this area. A large number of migratory birds flock to the area. The substation could be moved to a spot where it would cause much less disturbance," the villagers wrote.

Guman Singh Rathod, sarpanch of Korna village, has written in the 'Format for public consultation' that the villagers' opinion was never sought before the Rajasthan Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Ltd (RVPN) decided to utilize this land.

"I was informed after the matter was finalized. We refused the idea and have asked the substation to be located elsewhere," he said.

In the column on employment opportunities that the 'development project' would bring, the villagers have written that there was sufficient work available under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

Sohan Singh, a resident of Korna, told TOI, "We got to know of this proposal only when the collector sought a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the panchayat. We went with a delegation and met energy minister Pushpendra Singh. We have also informed our MLA Amra Ram about our opposition to the proposed project. We have been assured help but we don't know for sure if the project will be shifted elsewhere."


Environmentalist Harsh Vardhan said, "On the one hand, chief minister Vasundhara Raje speaks of water harvesting, on the other, the state machinery attempts to destroy natural sites that recharge rainwater."

Concerned citizens have now taken the matter to the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The Bhopal bench of NGT will hear the matter on January 25.



Friday, February 10, 2017

In Other Courts: Allahabad High Court - Jurakhan & 9 Others Vs Board of Revenue, U.P. Lucknow & 2 Others

eLegalix - Allahabad High Court Judgment Information System (Judgment/Order in Text Format)

Court No. - 21 


Case :- MISC. SINGLE No. - 5306 of 2013 

Petitioner :- Jurakhan & 9 Others 
Respondent :- Board Of Revenue, U.P. Lucknow & 2 Others 
Counsel for Petitioner :- Anuj Kudesia 
Counsel for Respondent :- C.S.C. 

Hon'ble Sibghat Ullah Khan,J. 

Exercising powers under Section 227 of the Constitution of India, this court proposes to decide the entire controversy by itself. No further proceedings in any court in this matter shall be taken. 

It is more than evident that the Additional Deputy Collector Sadar, Lucknow has gifted the State property in dispute to respondent No.3, Ram Kishor, son of late Kunj Bihari. Now the ten petitioners claiming to be co-laterals of Ram Kishor also want their share in the loot. However, the petitioners have done a good job by bringing the matter to the notice of the court. Lekhpal gave a report on 05.12.2012 blindly in favour of respondent No.3, which is contained in Annexure-5 to the writ petition. The Lekhpal gave report on an application under Section 33/39 of U.P. Land Revenue Act. The application was filed on 28.03.2012. After 37 years, State/ Gaon Sabha land or anyone's land cannot be given to some other person merely on an application under Section 33/39 of U.P.L.R. Act. Respondent No.3 claimed that the property in dispute was entered in his name in Khatauni 1376-78 Fasli. He did not give any reason as to why thereafter his name was not continued in the revenue record. Lekhpal categorically reported that after 1382 Fasli (1974-75 A.D.) the property in dispute i.e. Plot No.357/2, area 2 bigha was not entered in anyone's name. It means that the land was State or Gaon Sabha property. Lekhpal also reported that records from the year 1363 to 1375 Fasli were in torn state hence nothing could be verified therefrom. Benefit of this state of affairs could not be given to the petitioners otherwise any one can claim any other person's property. No State property and no property of a private tenure-holder appears to be safe in the hands of such Lekhpals and Deputy Collectors. Under somewhat similar circumstances, I held in paras 22 to 27 in U.P. Awas Evam Vkas Parishad, Lucknow Vs. Lajja Ram, 2012, (3) AWC 2226, as follows: 

"The provision of presumption is provided under Section 114 of Evidence Act, which contains some illustrations also. The said section along with illustrations (e) & (f) is quoted below: 

"114. Court may presume existence of certain facts.- The court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private business in their relation to the facts of the particular case. 

The Court may presume- 
(e) that judicial and official acts have been regularly performed; 
(f) that the common course of business has been followed in particular case;" 

If the presumption of entry in favour of plaintiff's father for four or seven years is to be presumed then presumption of correctness of discontinuance of entry for 40 years will also have to be drawn. 
Life of law has not been logic, it has been experience (O.W. Holmes). This principle applies with greater force on presumptions and human conduct. I have heard and decided hundreds of matters pertaining to agricultural land and my experience is that Gaon Sabha property has been looted by unscrupulous persons on a very large scale by manipulation in the revenue records and forging of orders particularly of consolidation courts. The modus operendi is that a very old entry or copy of order is produced like a rabbit from the hat of a magician and its resumption or recording is sought. 

Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No.1132 of 2011, Jagpal Singh and others Vs. State of Punjab, in Para-20 observed as follows: 
"20. In Uttar Pradesh the U.P. Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1954 was widely misused to usurp Gram Sabha lands either with connivance of the Consolidation Authorities, or by forging orders purported to have been passed by Consolidation Officers in the long past so that they may not be compared with the original revenue record showing the land as Gram Sabha land, as these revenue records had been weeded out. Similar may have been the practice in other States. The time has now come to review all these orders by which the common village land has been grabbed by such fraudulent practices." 

In Dina Nath Vs. State of U.P. 2009 (108) R.D. 321, I held that not making any efforts for getting the name of the petitioner entered in the revenue records on the basis of alleged patta by Gaon Sabha for 29 years proved that no patta was executed. I issued directions to all the Collectors to reopen all such cases where names of private persons were entered in the revenue records over Gaon Sabha land. Matter was carried to the Supreme Court in the form of S.L.P. (Civil) C.C.4398 of 2010 Dina Nath Vs. State. The Supreme Court decided the matter on 29.03.2010 and quoted almost my entire judgment in inverted commas and approved the same. 

Accordingly, it is held that whenever a person comes along with the case that Gaon Sabha land was allotted to him or some order was passed by any Court in his favour declaring his right over Gaon Sabha land or some revenue entry was in his favour long before but during last several years his name is not recorded in the revenue records then an irrebuttable presumption amounting to almost conclusive proof must be drawn to the effect that allotment order or entry is forged." 

The area of the land in dispute is 0.506 hectare and it is situate in Gomti Nagar and appears to be prime land. May be the intention of respondent No.3 was to get compensation of the said land as it is stated to have been acquired. 

Issue notice to respondent No.3 to show cause as to why the order dated 22.12.2012 passed by Sudhir Kumar Rungta, Additional Deputy Collector (S.D.O.), Sadar Lucknow shall not be set aside. 

Until further order property shall remain with the State/ Gaon Sabha or the acquiring body, if it has been acquired. Neither respondent No.3 nor the petitioners shall be permitted to put their feet thereupon. The Lekhpal, who gave the reports on 05.12.2012 prima facie does not deserve to remain in service. It is directed that disciplinary proceedings against the Additional Collector as well as lekhpal shall immediately be initiated. 

List for further orders on 12.09.2013. 


Let the effect of this order be recorded in the revenue records immediately. 

Office is directed to supply a copy of this order free of cost to Sri Vinay Bhushan, learned Additional C.S.C. 
Order Date :- 14.8.2013 
NLY