IN THE COURT OF MRS. SHYAMA MANN,IAS, FINANCIAL COMMISSIONER REVENUE, PUNJAB, CHANDIGARH.
M. R. No. 26 of 1996-97
Banarsi Dass son of Sudha Ram son of Mula Ram resident of 38, Manjit Nagar, Basti Guzan, Jalandhar.
1.State of Punjab.
2.Madan Lal son of Durga Dass resident of WJ-193 Basti Guzan, Jalandhar.
3.Tarlok Nath son of Durga Dass, resident of W.L.-218, Basti Guzan, Jalandhar.
Present: Sh.G.S.Nagra,Advocate, counsel for the petitioner.
Sh.S.P.Soi,Advocate, counsel for the respondents
1.In this petition u/s 33 of the Displaced Persons (C & R) Act, 1954 the petitioner has challenged the order of the Chief Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar dated 6.3.97. The claim of the petitioner is that Shop No.25 (khola) Basti Guzan, Jalandhar City, described in the petition was put to auction on 24.10.59 being acquired evacuee/ownership of the Central Government. It was purchased by one Sudha Ram son of Mula Ram as highest bidder for Rs.650/- who deposited the earnest money of Rs.65/- on the same day and, the balance amount alongwith interest amounting to Rs.1782/- on 30.8.83. Sudha Ram was in possession of the plot and after his death the petitioner, his son and successor is in continuous possession of this property. To the surprise of the petitioner one Tarlok Nath son of Durga Dass, respondent No.3 tried to take forcible possession of this plot claiming himself to be the vendee of respondent No.2 alleged auction purchaser of this property. No file relating to auction in the record.
2 On behalf of the respondents it is argued that although the petitioner alleges that the property was put to auction on 24.10.59 but he has not been able to explain under what circumstances he deposited Rs.1782 on 30.8.83 i.e. after a period of 24 years from the date when the earnest money was first paid by Sudha Ram. The respondent alleges that when Sudha Ram failed to deposit auction amount the auction in his favour was cancelled and the property was put to fresh auction in which Madan Lal was the highest bidder on 2.1.64. The respondents stated that this explains why the sale certificate dated 24.3.64 is in the name of the respondent No.2 and the petitioner has still not been able to bring any sale certificate on record. The respondent has further alleged that the petitioner had lost his case for permanent injunction in the Civil Courts both at the initial and appellate stage and findings of the Civil Court are categorical in respect of the possession being that of the respondent. During the life time of Sudha Ram there was no challenge to the title of the respondent. The petitioner is a property dealer and has not filed any document on record to show that he is son of Sudha Ram, the alleged auction-purchaser.
3 I have heard the counsel for the parties and also gone through the record. The claim of the petitioner that there is no file relating to auction dated 2.1.64 traceable in record led to the inevitable scrutiny of the remaining papers relating to auction/alienation of this property in minute detail. This scrutiny does not strengthen the case of the petitioner in any manner. Rather, it weakens his case still further. Apart from the fact that the pages of this file have been renumbered repeatedly it is found that no activity is recorded on the file between 18.4.61 and 8.3.83. The letter dated 18.4.61 directs Sudha Ram son of Mula Ram to deposit the balance purchase money within 15 days and further to attend the office of the Rehabilitation authorities in proof of such deposit, if any, failing which it would be presumed that he has not deposited the balance purchase money and 10% earnest money would be forfeited. This notice was preceded by similar notices earlier also. The next series of letters are dated 1983 and they are addressed to one Sunder Dass son of Ganga Ram. There is no letter from Sudha Ram or Banarsi Dass between 1959 and 1993 seeking to deposit the money or wanting extension in time for making any payment. Rather, when the file was revived as per noting dated 4.7.83 Sudha Ram son of Mula Ram was required to attend office on 19.7.83 on which date he failed to appear. Without anyone appearing in office the total amount of arrears were calculated by the office as Rs.1782 and these were shown as deposited on 30.8.83. There is not a single application of Sudha Ram son of Mula Ram who stated to have died in 1984 and was thus alive at that time, seeking permission to deposit the amount after such a long gap. After getting the money deposited on 30.8.83 the file remained in hibernation for another 9 years. Suddenly on 15.2.93 Banarsi Dass appeared on the scene requesting for issue of conveyance deed in his favour. He produced photo copies of letter dated 2.1.1960 and 18.4.61 alongwith receipt dated 30.8.1983. He also filed a Civil Suit against the present respondents before the Sub Judge IInd Class seeking permanent injunction against them. He lost the case in the Civil Court on 7.4.93, whereafter he filed a revision petition before the Chief Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar against the “bogus and fictitious sale certificate allegedly issued on 24.3.64” with respect to the disputed property. In the petition u/s 33 before me the petitioner has stated that the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is barred under Section 36 of the Act. Moreover it is alleged that in the Civil court it was a suit for permanent injunction and not for title and thus Chief Settlement Commissioner has failed to pass the order independently. The order of the Civil Court reveals that it is the petitioner who had approached the Civil Court in the first instance. He has not been able to refute the finding of fact recorded by the Civil Court that the petitioner had no proof of either being in possession, or having a sale certificate in his favour.
4. No explanation is forthcoming for the erratic behavior of the petitioner and his having woken from slumber for the first time in 1993 and for not having deposited the balance money and seeking issue of conveyance deed all these long years. Rather the missing pages and total silence first for 24 years and later for 9 years leads to the suspicions that these pages had been removed deliberately to confuse the matter. On the other hand the respondent has a validly executed sale deed in his possession while no sale deed is available in respect of the petitioner. The inescapable conclusion is that the petitioner’s case is devoid of any merit and the petition is dismissed accordingly.
Chandigarh,dated Financial Commissioner Revenue,
the 23rd May, 2000. Punjab.