Government of Punjab Revenue and Rehabilitation Deptt.(Policy and Legal Branch)
1. This case pertains to the claim of Mangla Ram for allotment of land in lieu of land allegedly abandoned by him in Pakistan. After order of the Managing Officer dated 16.9.1996, whereby Shri Mangla Ram son of Topan Dass was declared eligible for the allotment of land measuring 3 SAs ¼ units the case was sent for the clearance of the Government.
2. The case traces its origin to an application dated 20.8.1996 which was filed by one Shri Tek Chand, claiming to be successor-in-interest of one Shri Mangla Ram son of Topan Dass before the Managing Officer on 16.9.1996 at Chandigarh. The Managing Officer passed an order on 7.4.1998 and made the applicant entitled to an allotment of 3 SAs ¼ unit.
3. The allotment file was summoned from the record room. The record has revealed that one Mangla Ram son of Gobind Dass C/o Tikan Dass, house No.1144, Gharami Patti, Samana, submitted an application dated 16.3.1956 to the effect that an allotment of 2 SAs 11½ units, which was made in his favour was not acceptable to him. The statement of Sh. Mangla Ram to this offer was also recorded on 29.6.1956, wherein he stated that he wanted compensation in cash and he requested for the cancellation of the allotment of land on the plea that he was a shop-keeper and was unable to cultivate land and he requested for cash payment as compensation for the land. Keeping in view this statement of Sh. Mangla Ram, the competent Authority vide his order dated 5.7.1956 cancelled the allotment on the ground that the claimant wanted to avail the provision of Rule 49 of Displaced Persons (C & R) Rules which provides for payment of compensation in cash. This fact was further confirmed in the order of the Managing Officer, Land Claims Organisation issued on 1.6.1960 in the case number SMA/77/41. The records further reveal that issue remained under process upto 1963 and it was repeatedly recorded that allotment was cancelled because of the option of claimant for cash compensation.
4. After 1963, the allotment file does not reveal any application, representation or any other proceeding till 16.9.1996 to indicate that the claim remained unsatisfied in any manner. Suddenly on 16.9.1996, an application was moved in the name of Mangla Ram son of Sh. Topan Dass for alternative allotment in lieu of land abandoned in village Sajawalwala, Tehsil Bhawalpur in Pakistan. No explanation was given regarding lapse of 33 years in filing this application. Only a reference was made to allotment made in village Malkana Patti, Tehsil Samana, District Patiala which stood cancelled way back. On this application, the Managing Officer passed an order dated 7.4.1998 whereby Mangla Ram was declared to be eligible for allotment of land measuring 3 SAs ¼ units. This order is under scrutiny under Section 33 of Displaced Persons (C & R) Act, 1954.
5.The whole issue revolves around the following points:-
(1)The application filed before the Managing Officer on 16.9.1996 does not mention the names of person in whose names it is being filed. The name of Tek Chand, who presently claims to be successor-in-interest of Mangla Ram son of Topan Dass does not find any mention.The application has been signed only by the Advocatesnamely, Sh.G.S.Nagra and Sh.G.K.Chawla as Counsels for the petitioner without mentioning the name of the petitioner.Similarly, Managing Officer passed order dated 7.4.1998 without mentioning the name of the applicant/petitioner in whose favour the allotment was made.Further in the title of the application, name of Mangla Ram son of Gobind Dass was written initially but the name of Gobind Dass was altered to that of Topan Dass by applying white fluid.The name of Gobind Dass which is smudged and superimposed can easily be read by putting the paper against light.
(2)Shri Tek Chand son of Ram Chand claimed to be grandson of Mangla Ram son of Topan Dass.It was incumbent upon the Managing Officer to ascertain the date whether there were any other successors of the claimant. Detailed inquiry was necessary to identify them and to record their statements and also to ascertain whether there was any dispute regarding succession.In the event of any dispute, the Managing Officer was not competent to decide the question of succession and apportionment of compensation as under Section 9 of the Displaced Persons (C & R) Act, the competent authority was Settlement Officer/Settlement Commissioner.The Managing Officer failed to go into this aspect.
(3)As per death certificate produced, Shri Mangla Ram died on 13.7.1973.It eludes explanation as to why Sh. Mangla Ram himself did not make any application/representation before any authority after 1963, if his claim had remained unsatisfied.Further, it has also not been explained as to why Ram Chand father of Tek Chand did not make any application/representation for the satisfaction of the claim if the claim had remained unsatisfied.Shri Ram Chand is reported to have died on 13.2.92.It was only on 16.9.1996, that Tek Chand made the application to the Managing Officer.
(4)The Managing Officer in his order dated 7.4.1998 had not taken into consideration the consequences flowing from the option of Mangla Ram for payment of cash compensation as detailed in para 3(supra).The said order does not mention in whose favour the goshwara is to be issued.The affidavit submitted by one Tek Chand clearly declares and affirms that Ram Chand had four daughters namely, Kanta Rani, Sunita Rani, Bimla Rani and Dimpal Rani.The records reveal that at some of the places the father’s name of Mangla Ram is mentioned as Topan Dass and at some of the places it is mentioned as Gobind Dass.This glaring discrepancy is irreconcilable and has the effect of demolishing the claim of Tek Chand beyond repairs.
6. It was considered necessary to hear Sh. Tek Chand and he appeared before me on 6.11.2000. He was asked to give any document for his identification. Pursuantly he produced only a driving licence in his name which was issued on 18.7.1999 from Bassi Pathana whereas he claimed to be a resident of Samana. Further, in his statement recorded on 6.11.2000, he specifically mentioned that he was not aware about the place where allotment to Mangla Ram was made. He further stated that he has four sisters. He also stated that except for the documents already placed on the file of Managing Officer, he had no other evidence or documents or other details. He also stated that he was not aware as to how much land was held by Mangla Ram in village Sajawalwala, Tehsil Bhawalpur in lieu of which the request of land was being made.
7. After careful consideration of the material available on the file, I am of the considered opinion that original claim was filed by one Mangla Ram son of Gobind Dass which was verified by the office of Deputy Registrar Land Claims, Jalandhar and a total claim of 2 SAs-11½ units was determined on 18.10.1955 by the Assistant Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar. On the basis of this verification and determination, an area of land measuring 2-11½ S.As was allotted to Shri Mangla Ram through allotment order dated 29.2.1956. On the request of the claimant himself, the allotment of land was cancelled for payment of compensation in cash. It is not understandable as to how the claim of Mangla Ram son of Gobind Dass was changed to name of Mangla Ram son of Topan Dass. Before the Managing Officer photostat copy of an incomplete unsigned order dated 1959 was produced raising the value of the land to 4 SA-01 units. This paper which though placed at Pages 9/10 of Managing Officer’s file carries a photostat page No.127 and is not available on the original file summoned from D.L.R’s office on which the revised claim of Tek Chand has been prepared. There are thus serious doubts about the page marking of the file. Thus, it is clear that this order dated 2.6.1965 was part of some other file where it was placed at page 127 and it has been brought into this file in an effort to substantiate his claim.
8. It is also not understandable that the said Mangla Ram was alive upto 13.7.1973 and his alleged son Ram Chand was alive upto 24.2.1992 but they never made any application or representation regarding unsatisfied claim, if any. However, suddenly the application, which was not signed by Sh.Tek Chand but was signed by Advocates only was presented to Managing Officer on 17.9.96 who readily obliged Tek Chand with an entitlement. This discussion leads to the only irresistible conclusion that it is a bogus claim and order dated 7.4.1998 of the Managing Officer was obtained through fraud with the complete connivance of the then Managing Officer who deserves to be proceeded against departmentally. Thus, it is not a fit case for grant of clearance. In the sequence, the order dated 7.4.1998 of the Managing Officer, being perverse is hereby set aside in exercise of the provisions of Section 33 of the Displaced Persons (C & R) Act, 1954. Copy of this order be sent to R.E.-I Branch for taking action against the Managing Officer.
the 14th December, 2000. (SHYAMA MANN)
Financial Commissioner Revenue,