In the Court of Shri M.S.Banwait, PCS, Joint Secretary to Government of Punjab, Department of Revenue and Rehabilitation-cum-Settlement Commissioner, Punjab, Chandigarh.
Khem Singh son of Shri Jarnail Singh, resident of village Saraf Ali Shah, Tehsil Zira, District Ferozepur.
1. The Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer, Revenue and Rehabilitation Department, Punjab, Chandigarh.
- Balbir Singh allottee, son of Fauja Singh son of Sh. Wasan Singh, through
- Surat Singh son of Ajaib Singh;
- Surjit Kaur wd/o Ajaib Singh;
- Rajwant Singh son of Ajaib Singh;
- Lakhwinder Singh son of Ajaib Singh
all residents of village Boghewala Tehsil Zira, District Ferozepur.
Present Sh. G.S.Nagra, Advocate, Counsel for the appellant;
on the date Sh. Rajesh Chaudhry, Advocate, Counsel for respondent No.2(i-iv).of arguments.
This is an appeal under Section 22 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 against the order dated 26.11.1996 of the Tehsildar, Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer, Revenue and Rehabilitation Department vide which the complaint dated 10.5.1994 of the appellant was filed and it was held that allotment in favour of Surat Singh successor-in-interest of Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh in village Mandahar Shera and village Kot Sadar Khan was in order and the matter of transfer of land measuring 12 kanals 6 marlas in village Mandahar Shera did not come within the jurisdiction of the M.O.
- Aggrieved by the said order, the present appeal has been filed.
- The relevant record of the office of Managing Officer was summoned. The respondent No.2 (I-iv) appeared through Sh. Rajesh Chaudhary, Advocate. Thereafter, the case was fixed for arguments.
- The brief history of the case is that an application dated 10.5.1994 was submitted by Khem Singh son of Jawala Singh, resident of village Saraf Ali Shah, Tehsil Zira and attar Singh son of Nanak Singh resident of village (not mentioned), Tehsil Zira (though not signed by them) through Sh. G.S.Nagra, Advocate and stated that one Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh died in Pakistan and he never came to India but some fictitious persons got allotment of land in his name in village Mandahar Shera and Kot Sadar Khan. Further, the appellant(applicants) were in possession of khasra No.7//13, 14 & 4//2/1 measuring 12 kanals 6 marlas situated in village Mandahar Shera, Tehsil Zira, District Ferozepur. It was also stated that Fauja Singh (father of Balbir Singh) was survived by two sons namely Ajaib Singh and Surjit Singh but Surjit Kaur wd/o Surat Singh, Rajwant Singh and Lakhwinder Singh got mutation sanctioned on the basis of some forged ‘will’. It was prayed that bogus allotment in the name of Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh be cancelled as he never came to village Mandahar Shera and took possession of the land in dispute and the applicants who are Rai Sikhs be allowed to purchase the land on the basis of their possession.
- The application dated 10.5.1994, which was in the nature of a complaint was considered by the Tehsildar, Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer. He observed vide his order dated 26.11.1996 that the applicant namely Khem Singh and Attar Singh did not produce any proof regarding the alleged bogus allotment in favour of Surat Singh successor-in-interest of allottee Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh in village Mandahar Shera and Kot Sadar Khan while there are orders of allotment made by the Tehsildar (Sales), Ferozepur in favour of Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh. It was also observed that it has not been explained as to how and when the said land measuring 12 kanals 6 marlas came in the possession of the applicants (now appellant) and the matter whether he was in possession of the said land falls within the jurisdiction of Tehsildar Mahal-cum-Sales (MO) Zira who can take a decision in accordance with law.
- I have heard the counsel for the appellant and respondents No.2(I-iv) and have carefully gone through the record on file. The case of the appellant is that Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh never migrated to India after the partition and no evidence has been produced that he ever migrated to India. The Tehsildar, Boundary Cell-cum-M.O. also did not investigate the complaint dated 10.5.1994 in a proper manner. The Managing Officer was requested to call for the relevant report from Tehsildar (Sales) Zira as allotment was obtained from him but no report was obtained and even the record from office of the Director, Land Records, Jalandhar was not requisitioned. The land was got allotted and sold though Balbir Singh had died on his way to India. Therefore, the allotment made in favour of Balbir Singh be cancelled being bogus one. On the other hand, the counsel for respondent No.2 argued that allotment was made in favour of the respondents and the complaint has been filed only to harass them.
- It is relevant to note at the very outset that the appellant was simply a complainant before the MO and had no competing claim for allotment of the disputed land in his favour in preference to Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh. He had claimed interest to the extent that he was in possession of khasra No.7//13, 14 and 4//2/1 situated in village Mandahar Shera, Tehsil Zira. Since the impugned order is simply an administrative decision and does not constitute an “order” under any provision of the Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 warranting interference in exercise of the powers as envisioned in Section 22 of the said Act, the present appeal is not at all legally maintainable. Further, the transfer of land on the basis of possession also does not come in the purview of the Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Act, 1954. Therefore, the present appeal is mis-conceived.
- In view of the above discussions, this appeal being mis-conceived is dismissed as not maintainable.
- Before parting with this case, it is found appropriate to mention that an allegation was made by the appellant that a bogus allotment has been obtained by the respondents at village Dalbir Khera also. A copy of mutation No.293 of village Dalbir Khera (Hadbast No.90) Tehsil Fazilka in support of the allegation is available on the case file. On the other hand the respondents had earlier stated through an affidavit dated 27.11.1995 that Sh. Balbir Singh was allotted land only in village Mandahar Shera and village Kot Sadar Khan. There has been no explanation or clarification from respondents regarding the said allotment in village Dalbir Khera in the name of Balbir Singh which was inherited from him by others including Ajaib Singh who is also predecessor-in-interest of the respondents vide mutation No.293. Therefore, there is a strong suspicion regarding the allotment made in village Dalbir Khera in favour of Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh as inherited by Ajaib Singh, Surjit Singh, Kulwant Singh sons of Fauja Singh son of Wassan Singh through the above said mutation No.293. Further, on the death of Kulwant Singh his share of land was mutated vide mutation No.294 which was sanctioned on 22.8.1956 in favour of Ajaib Singh and Surjit Singh sons of Fauja Singh son of Wassan Singh. Surjit Singh sold 5 kanals 17 marlas from his share as is evident from mutation No.526 sanctioned on 2.2.1964 and Ajaib Singh sold his share (31 kanals) as has been shown vide mutation No.610 sanctioned on 31.12.1965.
- Mutation No.808 of village Boghewala (H.B.No.201) Tehsil Zira, District Ferozepur also shows that land belonging to Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh was mutated in favour of Ajaib Singh and Surjit Singh but this allotment has not been mentioned in the affidavit dated 27.11.1995 of the respondents.
- The MO(Headquarters) is therefore directed to take further action in accordance with law in respect of these allotments made in favour of Balbir singh son of Fauja Singh.
- Further it is also found relevant to point out the various inconsistencies noticed during the perusal of the record on the file during the proceedings. A copy of mutation No.293 of village Dalbir Khera, Hadbast No.90, Tehsil Fazilka shows that land was allotted to Sh. Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh and it was mutated in the name of his brothers namely Ajaib Singh, Surjit Singh and Kulwant Singh sons of Fauja Singh son of wassan Singh on 22.8.1956. It has been mentioned in the Shajra Nasab prepared on its that Balbir Singh had died issueless. Through another mutation No.457, the land of Sh. Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh son of Wassan Singh in village Mandahar Shera, Hadbast No.98, Tehsil Zira, District Ferozepur was mutated in the name of Smt. Surjit Kaur widow and Surat Singh, Rajwant Singh and Lakhwinder Singh sons of Ajaib Singh son of Fauja Singh on 22.5.1989. It is quite intriguing to note that there are three different copies of mutation No.457 of village Mandahar Shera (Hadbast No.98) Tehsil Zira, each of which contains different particulars. One copy shows the name of the owner in column No.4 as Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh while the other one shows Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh son of Lehna Singh as owner in column No.4. The remaining copy shows Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh son of Lehna Singh as owner in column No.4 but on the reverse of the same mutation the particulars of Balbir Singh have been shown as Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh son of Gulab Singh. It is un-understandable as to how inconsistency occurred on the same mutation showing Lehna Singh as the father of Fauja Singh on the front page of the mutation sheet and Gulab Singh as father of Fauja Singh on the reverse of the same mutation sheet. Further, the pedigree table drawn thereon shows only one brother of Balbir Singh namely Ajaib Singh. The names of other brothers who find mention in mutation No.293 (village Dalbir Khera) and mutation No.808 (village Boghewala do not appear thereon. Another property of Sh. Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh son of Wassan Singh in village Boghewala, Hadbast No.201, Tehsil Zira, District Ferozepur was mutated in the name of only Sh. Ajaib Singh and Surjit Singh sons of Fauja Singh son of Wassan Singh on 26.9.1956 vide mutation No.808. It would be seen that in this mutation (No.808) the name of Sh. Kulwant Singh, who had earlier shared the property of Balbir Singh on his death vide mutation No.293 mentioned above does not find any place.
- As would be noted, there are irreconcilable variations in the names and numbers of beneficiaries recorded in different mutations regarding the inheritance of the Balbir Singh. Coupled with this, the name of the father of Fauja Singh (who is the father allottee Balbir Singh) has been mentioned as Wassan Singh in mutation No.293 (village Dalbir Khera), Lehna Singh in mutation No.457 (village Mandahar Shera) and Lehna Singh as also Gulab Singh in another copy of mutation No.457 of village Mandahar Shera. It shows that all is not well in the transactions centering around the mutations relating to inheritance of Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh.
- There is another aspect which needs to be looked into. A copy of the sanad issued under ‘Rule 68’ at Ferozepur on the 25th July, 1980 shows that Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh died in 1948 at village Boghewala leaving behind him successors-in-interest Smt. Surjit Kaur widow of Ajaib Singh, Surat Singh, Rajwant Singh and Lakhwinder Singh sons of Ajaib Singh. This sanad is in contrast with the position noted in other mutations relating to the property of Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh mentioned in the earlier part of this order. To be specific, the sanad does not make mention of Ajaib Singh, Surjit Singh and Kulwant Singh sons of Fauja Singh though a mutation No.293 relating to the property of Balbir Singh son of Fauja Singh had, as early as 22.8.1956, shown Ajaib Singh, Surjit Singh and Kulwant Singh sons of Fauja Singh son of Wassan Singh as the beneficiaries.
- There are variant versions of the complainant regarding migration or otherwise of Balbir Singh to India. One of it is that Sh. Balbir Singh died on his way to India at the time of partition and the other is that he had converted himself to be a ‘muslim’ alongwith his brother Malook Singh and did not migrate to India. Though sanad issued at Ferozepur on 25.7.1980 referred to in para 14 above shows that Balbir Singh had died in 1948 in village Boghewala but during the course of the proceedings in the Court of MO or in this court when this issue was raised there has been no conscious attempt to produce an independent evidence regarding the death of Balbir Singh in village Boghewala to dispel these suspicions.
- As the matter mentioned in para 10-14 raises a lot of suspicion relating to allotment of land to Balbir Singh at various places mentioned above and subsequent mutations in favour of respondents and others in recognition of the said allotment, this necessitates an in-depth probe into these transactions to discover the truth. In the circumstances narrated above, it is, therefore, found appropriate that all these aspects are looked into by the competent revenue authorities and it be accordingly brought to the notice of the State Government, Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepur, Sub-Divisional Magistrates, Fazilka and Zira for further necessary action.
- MO(Headquarters) should coordinate in order to take further action in accordance with law for cancellation of illegal allotment made in favour of Balbir Singh and his successors-in-interest, if so warranted in view of the findings emerging from the above mentioned probe.
- Since the case was reserved for orders, therefore, it may be communicated to the parties concerned.
Settlement Commissioner, Punjab,
the 16th August, 2001