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Allotment case of Wasakha Singh

GOVERNMENT OF PUNJAB DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE AND REHABILITATION (POLICY AND LEGAL BRANCH)

                                                                           ORDER

This case relates to the allotment of land in favour of Wasakha Singh son of Sunder Singh alias Binder Singh in lieu of land alleged to have been abandoned by him in village Harsa Noshera, Tehsil Chunia, District Lahore as a result of Partition of the country.

2. One Gurdip Singh representing himself to be the General Power of Attorney of Chanan Singh, Jagga Singh and Naranjan Singh sons of Bahal Singh made an application dated 6.2.1995 for the allotment of land in the name of Wasakha Singh. In that application it was alleged that Wasakha Singh had been allotted 3 S.As. 4½ units of land in village Mattar Hathar, Tehsil and District Ferozepur in lieu of land abandoned by him in Pakistan as stated above, but he had not taken the possession of the allotted land as he was living in village Bhana, Tehsil and District Faridkot, as a result of which the allotment made in his name was cancelled.

The application did not mention what was the relationship of the applicants with the original claimant. However, this application was accompanied by a photo copy of an affidavit dated 12.1.1995 purporting to have been sworn by Chanan Singh, Jagga Singh and Naranjan Singh sons of Bahal Singh son of Binder Singh alias Sunder Singh wherein it was confirmed that Wasakha Singh had since died and the deponents aforestated were his legal heirs by virtue of a registered Will dated 14.1.1957 alleged to have been executed by Wasakha Singh in their favour. The application was also accompanied by a photo copy of the General Power of Attorney purporting to have been executed by Chanan Singh, Jagga Singh and Naranjan Singh in favour of the applicant Gurdip Singh son of Pritam Singh. It was further accompanied by a photo copy of the Will dated 14.1.1957 whereby Wasakha Singh son of Binder Sodhi had bequeathed his property in favour of Chanan Singh, Jagga Singh and Naranjan Singh.

3. The application dated 6.2.1995 was dismissed by the Managing Officer vide his order dated 13.3.1995 for want of any evidence in terms of Rule 67-A of Displaced Persons (C & R) Rules, 1955. This order of Managing Officer was challenged before the M.E.O. who set aside the same on 1.8.1995. He observed that a letter from Section Officer(L) Rehabilitation Department, Jalandhar bearing No.6231/SO(L)Allotment dated 2.5.78 showed that the applicant had applied for restoration of land allotment before 31.12.1963; thus Rule 67-A of the Displaced Persons (C & R) Rules, 1955 was not attracted in this case. With these observations he set aside the order of Managing Officer dated 13.3.1995 and remanded the case to the Managing Officer, Headquarter, for fresh decision after verifying the facts on the record of the Rehabilitation Department.

Pursuantly, the Tehsildar Hadbandi Cell-cum-Managing Officer, Revenue and Rehabilitation Department, Punjab, Chandigarh passed an order dated 18.6.1996 thereby holding Wasakha Singh entitled to allotment of land to the tune of 3 S.As. 4½ units and directing that the file be submitted to the Govt. for clearance, whereafter, goshwara be prepared. The clearance of the Govt. was ultimately conveyed to Tehsildar-cum-Managing Officer, Chandigarh on 19.5.98. Thereafter a Goshwara in the name of Wasakha Singh son of Binder Singh was prepared for 3 S.As-4½ units and sent to Tehsildar, Ferozepur for making the necessary allotment. When this Goshwara was sent back for re-verification a number of irregularities committed in allotment came to the notice of the present Managing Officer who referred the matter to the Govt. This is how the matter is before me.

4. In order to afford a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the applicant Gurdip Singh before deciding on further course of action he was called over for 8.1.2001. He appeared on the said date and his statement was got recorded.

I have carefully examined the records and have also heard Gurdip Singh and also read the contents of his statement. In my opinion the Tehsildar Hadbandi Cell-cum-Managing Officer has fallen in grave error in passing the order dated 18.6.1996 thereby adjudging the entitlement of Wasakha Singh for allotment of land to the tune of 3 S.As.-4½ units. To my mind it is a fit case for cancellation of entitlement and withdrawing of clearance already granted.

The case of Wasakha Singh espoused through Gurdip Singh as attorney suffers from the following serious infirmities:-

  • The Managing Officer mechanically believed the assertion of Gurdip Singh that land allotted to Wasakha Singh in lieu of land abandoned at the time of Partition had been cancelled but no order of cancellation was produced nor insisted upon. At page 13 of the file of Managing Officer there is only a report dated 6.4.94, from no one in particular, which mentions that Wasakha Singh was allotted land in village Mattar Hathar H.B.No.337 during general allotment but the allotment was cancelled for not taking possession. This illegible report is written on the back of an application submitted to the DLR’s office by Gurdip Singh. The designation of the person who has reported is not mentioned nor has it been authenticated by any one in the DLR’s office; not even the date of cancellation is available.
  • Gurdip Singh attorney has produced a photo copy of the Will dated 14.1.1957 executed by one Wasakha Singh son of Binder Singh ( and not Sunder Singh) in favour of Chanan Singh, Jagga Singh and Naranjan Singh. This Will says Wasakha Singh was holding land in villages Bhana and Jamwali and had an allotment in village Mattar Hathar in addition which means that till 14.1.1957 the allotment in village remained intact. If the land in village Mattar Hathar was cancelled after 1957, why the order and the date was not specified by Gurdip Singh before Managing Officer is not clarified. This gives lie to the “no allotment” entries in the 1-D register reported by Kuldip Singh, Assistant on 31.1.1996. The entry in the 1-D register is incompatible with the entry in the Will where Wasakha Singh son of Binder Sodhi states that he is owner and in possession of the land.
  • Wasakha Singh son of Sunder Singh whose allotment was claimed before the Managing Officer was stated to be dead but the Managing Officer did not try to find out the date of his death nor did he try to make any inquiries about the legal heirs of Wasakha Singh. On 8.1.2001 before me a photostat copy purporting to be from the Chowkidar’s register was brought by Gurdip Singh which records the death of one Wasakha Singh son of Binder as 9.9.1972. The Will is also by Wasakha Singh son of Binder while the jamabandi is admittedly in the name of Wasakha Singh son of Sunder Singh. Even then no proof is forthcoming to confirm that Binder Sodhi and Sunder Singh are one and the same person.
  • In the order of Managing Officer dated 18.6.96 it is stated that Gurdip Singh General Attorney stated that he had given an application before 31.10.1963 as a proof of which he had brought on record a copy of letter No.6231/SO(L), allotment, dated 2.5.1978. This letter which is at page 18 of Managing Officer’s file is addressed to Chanan Singh, Jagga Singh and Naranjan Singh and it states as under:-

“nkg dh doyk;s i' fe iBkp wkb wzsoh ih B{z fdZsh rJh ;h d/ jtkb/ ftu nkg fwsh 25H5H1978 B{z w[ekw ibzXo jk÷o j' fe oepk nbkN eoB pko/ i' s[;hA doyk;s fwsh 31H12H1963 s'A gfjbK fdZsh ;h d/ pko/ ;p{s g/ô eo'. r?o jk÷oh ekoB fJZe gk;k ekotkJh ehsh ikt/rh.@

Thus this letter is in the form of a notice which calls upon the claimants to prove that they had given an application before 31.12.1963; no such proof was given for 17 years! Thereafter the letter itself was taken by Hari Singh Tehsildar-cum-Managing Officer as a proof of having applied prior to 31.12.63. Even the M.E.O. who remanded the case on 1.8.1995 is guilty in this respect as he gave a fresh lease of life to a dead and frivolous case and facilitated the illegal order passed by Hari Singh, Managing Officer on 18.6.96.

  • The Managing Officer did not go into the important question of the abnormal delay in submission of the application. Assuming the original claimant to be dead in 1972 there is no explanation forthcoming as to why the claim was not agitated during his life time and why no appeal was filed against this cancellation. Even if it is assumed that there was some correspondence in or upto 1978 between Chanan Singh etc. and the Government the silence for another 17 years thereafter between 2.5.78 and 6.2.95 has not been justified anywhere. The Managing Officer Sh. Hari Singh has not dwelled upon into this important issue at all. Gurdip Singh himself admits that Wasakha Singh was allowed land in village Mattar Hathar, district Ferozepur. Therefore, it was quite evident that entries in the 1-D register (or absence thereof) could not be relied upon and were inconsequential!
  • Chanan Singh etc. never appeared before the M.E.O. nor were their statements insisted upon. The entire claim is being pursued by one Gurdip Singh who admits in his statement dated 8.1.2001 that he has no other information to give in this matter. He is a serving draftsman in the P.S.T.C. posted at Faridkot and admits to being a General Power of Attorney in allotment case of Hazura Singh, Kaku Singh of Nathanwala of Faridkot Tehsil also. So keen was the Managing Officer to oblige Gurdip Singh that he forgot that Gurdip Singh was a Power of Attorney of Chanan Singh, Jagga Singh and Naranjan Singh and mentioned him in his order dated 18.6.96 as Power of attorney of Wasakha Singh who was simultaneously shown as dead. His successor Managing Officer, issued a corrigendum in this order one and a half years later on 11.11.97. Even he did not make any inquiry to determine the L.Rs of Wasakha Singh as required under Section 9 of the Displaced Persons (C & R) Act.

5. In view of the aforesaid discussions the claim of Wasakha Singh espoused through Gurdip Singh is not duly substantiated and there is no merit in the order of the Managing Officer dated 18.6.1996 as corrected vide order dated 11.11.1997 and in exercise of the powers vested in me under Section 33 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Act the said order is accordingly set aside.

To be communicated through registered post and also through process.

(SHYAMA MANN)

Chandigarh, dated

Financial Commissioner Revenue,

The 30th March, 2001. Punjab.

Hon'ble Revenue Minister

Hon'ble Minister-In-Charge
Shri. Gurpreet Singh Kangar

 


 

Special Chief Secretary, Department of Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Mangement
Shri. Karan Bir Singh Sidhu, IAS

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