GOVERNMENT OF PUNJAB DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE & REHABILITATION (POLICY LEGAL BRANCH)
The matter herein pertains to allotment of land to one Kirpal Singh adopted son of Dulha Singh by the then Tehsildar, Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer (HQ) vide his order dated 27.3.1997 in lieu of land abandoned in Pakistan during partition of the country..
2. The facts of the case are that on 23.9.96 one Kirpal Singh claiming to be the adopted son of Dula Singh resident of Faridkot submitted an application dated 11.7.96 before the Tehsildar-cum-Managing Officer, Rehabilitation Department through his counsel, Sh. G.S.Kaler stating that Bahal Singh, Dalip Singh, Gopal Singh, Jit Singh sons of Mal Singh, Dhara Singh son of Saudagar Singh and Dula Singh son of Bahadur Singh held land bearing Khasra Nos. 239, 296, 310, 253, 312(19-8), 230(10-3), 206, 207(3-17), 238(4-18), 276(8-14), 218(2-5), 314min (6-0), 325(3-12), 320(10-15), 316(7-2), 314min(2-2), 208(7-16), 222(7-5), 329(3-12), 231(2-12), 311(3-3), 319(10-4), 202(3-17), 213(1-12), 212(1-8), 216(1-8), 321(3-13), 237(4-12) situated in village Jhugian Natha Singh, Tehsil Chuhnian District Lahore as per jamabandi for the year 1946-47. He also attached a photostat copy of the said jamabandi obtained from Director Land Records’s office as a proof thereof. It was stated in this application that at the time of Partition of India in 1947 all the above persons were killed and only the applicant aged 5 years at the time was brought to India by his father’s sister. Kirpal Singh went on to state that the applicant was not aware that the above land was held in the said village by the above mentioned persons. These facts were told to him by his relations about four months back. Thereafter, the applicant went to Jalandhar for getting copies of jamabandi relating to the said lands. He could not apply for allotment of land in time because he was not aware of the lands held by the deceased persons. He requested that delay in claiming the land in lieu of land left in Pakistan may be condoned in the interest of justice. Kirpal Singh also stated that he was legal heir of the above named persons and was entitled for allotment of the land.
I have carefully examined the record of the case, the evidence on record and the statement of Kirpal Singh as recorded on 27.3.97 and 9.1.2001 and have come to the conclusion that there is no merit in the claim and the Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer has greatly erred in passing the order dated 27.3.97 and it deserves to be set aside. This belief is reinforced by the Statement of Sh. Kirpal Singh recorded on 9.1.2001 as he has failed to dispel any of the doubts which arise from a reading of the evidence on record. Some of the irregularities and discrepancies which have been noticed in this case are discussed hereunder:-
Bahadur Singh Sudagar Singh
Dula Singh ______________________
Dhara Singh Mal Singh
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Jit Singh Gurpal Singh Dalip Bahal
5. This is a typical case of misuse of information procured from the office of the Director Land Records’s. As the applicant himself admits, till early 1996 he was not aware about any land belonging to sons of Mal Singh as also Dhara Singh and Dula Singh. Thereafter he went to Jalandhar for getting copies of jamabandis relating to the said land. He procured these copies and attached them with his application submitted to the Managing Officer on 23.9.96. Four and a half months after the Managing Officer held . Kirpal Singh to be entitled to allotment against entitlement of Bahal Singh he managed to procure a copy of the “kursinama” also. It was thereafter that the statements were changed/modified by him from time to time in an attempt to project his case. The then Managing Officer spared no effort to assist the applicant in this attempt. The question of latches was not gone into. Even when it was discovered that Dula Singh and Dhara Singh had been allotted land and the applicant had misstated facts, the Managing Officer did not get suspicions but obligingly separated these claims leaving it open for the applicant to claim them through separate petitions subsequently at a convenient time. The facts of the case demolish the entire claim of the petitioner. Therefore, in exercise of powers u/s 33 of the Displaced Persons (C & R) Act, 1954 the order of the Managing Officer dated 27.3.97 is set aside. Action should be initiated against the then Managing Officer for passing a patently perverse and illegal order, with a view to giving undue benefit to the petitioner and the various functionaries in the Govt. who tried to divert the attention from the basic irregularities which were evident from record even when the Managing Officer passed the order.
Orders to be communicated both through registered post & service.
Chandigarh, dated Financial Commissioner Revenue,
The 21st March, 2001 Punjab.
- The aforementioned application dated 23.9.96 of Kirpal Singh was dealt with favourably by Tehsildar, Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer (HQ), Chandigarh and orders were passed on 27.3.1997 thereby adjudging the alternative entitlement of Bahal Singh, Dalip Singh, Gopal Singh, Jit Singh sons of Mal Singh as 3 S.As 9 units in respect of land left in Pakistan which they had inherited from Mal Singh. However, he left the matter regarding the claim of the petitioner in respect of land left behind by Dula Singh and Dhara Singh open pending the receipt of a report from the concerned Tehsildars as they had already been allotted land. The case was thereafter sent to Govt. for clearance on 4.8.1997. However, it was returned on 18.8.1997 with the remarks that original/certified copies of mutalba claim as also details of legal heirs be obtained from the allottees. It was further desired that the claims of all the allottees should be sent in one lot. However, on 7.10.97 Kirpal Singh gave an application to the Managing Officer stating that he was not interested in getting the claim of Dula Singh and Dhara Singh settled for the time being and he would do so through separate petitions and he may be given entitlement relating to sons of Mal Singh alone. Thereupon the Managing Officer recorded the same day that no further action was required by him and the case be sent to Government for clearance. However, no such clearance was sought nor given.
- The present Managing Officer-cum-Under Secretary pointed out some glaring irregularities in the order of Managing Officer dated 27.3.97 and referred the matter to the Govt. for suitable action. Before arriving at any conclusions it was considered fit to hear the claimant and he was called for this purpose on 9.1.2001. His statement was also got recorded on that date.
- In the “Kursinama” attached to an affidavit dated 7.8.97 of Kirpal Singh, the name “Kirpal Singh” does not figure anywhere either as a son of Dula Singh or as a son of Mal Singh. This “Kursinama” depicts the following position:-
- Kirpal Singh has stated in his application supported by an affidavit that Bahal Singh, Dalip Singh, Gopal Singh, Jit Singh as also Dhara Singh and Dula Singh were killed in 1947 during the Partition of the country. It is found from the report of the present Managing Officer that Dalip Singh had submitted his mutalba claim to the Rehabilitation Department on 29.3.1948, so also had Bahal Singh. Dalip Singh had also filed claims on behalf of his minor brothers. Dalip Singh and Bahal Singh had been duly identified by Partap Singh son of Sunder Singh Lambardar. In respect of Dula Singh and Dhara Singh also, it has come on record that they had been allotted land; the order of Managing Officer dated 27.3.97 also mentions this fact. Therefore, the repeated assertion of Kirpal Singh that they had all died during Partition is not correct. It is strange that who this glaring discrepancy escaped the notice of the Managing Officer as well as the Govt. functionaries who examined this case.
- In his application dated 10.7.1996 Kirpal Singh not only stated that all the persons in whose name he was claiming land had died at the time of Partition but he also stated that he was a minor and had been brought to India by his father’s sister. However, in his statement made on 9.1.2001 he stated that his “Bhua” (father’s sister) Ind Kaur had died before Partition and that Kirpal Singh’s own mother had died 16-17 years back.
- There is no plausible explanation for the fact that Kirpal Singh’s name figures neither as son of Dula Singh nor as son of Mal Singh in the Kursinama. Kirpal Singh started originally by claiming that he was the adopted son of Dula Singh but he did not disclose the name of his real father. On 27.3.97 he stated before the then Managing Officer, headquarters that he was the son of Mal Singh; Bahal Singh, Dalip Singh, Gopal Singh and Jit Singh were his brothers who had died during the Partition. After procuring the “kursinama” (pedigree table) from the Director Land Records’s office he started asserting that he was Kirpal Singh alias Gurpal Singh. Even then he kept on repeating that Bahal Singh, Dalip Singh, Gurpal Singh & Jit Singh had died during Partition.
- In all the papers which the applicant has in his possession a voter identity card, an old passport, the applicant is shown to be Kirpal Singh son of Dula Singh. There is no document to show that he is adopted son of Dula Singh son of Bahadur Singh nor is there any document to show that Kirpal Singh and Gopal/Gurpal Singh son of Mal Singh are one and the same person. Here also the Managing Officer and the functionaries in the Govt. have not exercised due diligence.
- Kirpal Singh has appended his signatures in Gurmukhi at a number of places while at other places he has affixed a thumb mark.. The application dated 10.7.1996 is signed in Gurmukhi So also is the deposition dated 11.7.1996 before the Oath Commissioner; the counsel has also been engaged under signatures in Gurmukhi and the statement before the Managing Officer on 27.3.1997 as also the statement dated 9.1.2001 is signed in Gurmukhi. The petition where he says that the share of Dhara Singh and Dula Singh sons of Saudagar Singh may be the claimed in separate petitions is also signed in Gurmukhi. Yet the sworn affidavits dated 7.8.1997 giving himself out stated as Kirpal Singh ‘urf’ Gopal Singh and the affidavit dated 12.3.1998 (which is on the file for no explicable reason whatsoever) are thumb marked only. The latter affidavit states that Dula Singh died during Partition and that Gopal Singh and Kirpal Singh are one and the same person. Thus it is a very alarming aspect of this case that all affidavits sworn before Ist Class Magistrate are thumb marked while elsewhere the papers are signed in Gurmukhi.
- Last but not the least the claim is afflicted with serious latches in its presentation. There is no plausible explanation to justify the long delay of 48 years. The applicant has very casually stated in his application that he had come to know regarding the land holdings of sons of Mal Singh, as also of Dula Singh and Dhara Singh about four months prior to 23.9.1996 and was advised to take copies from Jalandhar for this purpose. It does not appeal to the logic of a prudent mind that a person who had abandoned land in Pakistan would continue to lull into deep slumber for 48 years before filing his claim for allotment of land in lieu of the land abandoned in Pakistan.