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Order dated 26.12.2000

GOVERNMENT OF PUNJAB REVENUE AND REHABILITATION DEPTT.(POLICY AND LEGAL BRANCH)

                                                                                        ORDER

1. On 19.9.1987 one Arjan Singh claiming to be the son of Thakur Singh son of Niranjan Singh made an application stating that on receipt of a copy of jamabandi he had come to know that Niranjan Singh, Bahal Singh and Sahib Singh sons of Ran Singh were allotted much less area than their entitlement in village Gurusar H.B.No.58 tehsil Fazilka district Ferozepur in lieu of land abandoned by them in Pakistan. The plea taken was that there were a number of khewats in which the allottees held land in village Raja Jang, H.B.No.1 tehsil Kasur District Lahore and the verification and rechecking of the account was required. The L.Rs left by the three allottees as indicated in this application were Smt. Bhaiya wd/o Thakur Singh and Arjan Singh, Major Singh sons of Thakur Singh son of Niranjan Singh. It was further stated that the deficiency of area was required to be verified and rectified u/s 25(2) of the Displaced Persons( C & R) Act, 1954.

The Tehsildar-cum-Managing Officer, Chandigarh accepted this application and passed an order dated 29.7.91 thereby fixing additional entitlement of Niranjan Singh, Bahal Singh and Sahib Singh to the extent of 3 SA-2¼units each i.e. a total area of 9 SAs-6¾units. He also obtained clearance from the State Government for allotment of the aforesaid area. The Goshwara was prepared in the names of Niranjan Singh, Bahal Singh and Sahib Singh sons of Ran Singh and forwarded to Tehsildar Ferozepur vide Memo.No.505/M.O. dated 15.1.1993 for allotment of land to the claimants. In the said memo. it was further directed that before making the allotment the goshwara may be got re-verified from Tehsildar-cum-Managing Officer, Chandigarh. The Tehsildar, Ferozepur returned the goshwara for necessary verifications. In the course of re-verification some additions were made in the legal representatives of the claimants. Apart from Arjan Singh, Major Singh sons, Bhaiya widow of Thakur Singh, the name of Koka Singh son of Thakur Singh was also added. The addition read as under:-

“Waras Arjan Singh, Major Singh, Kukka Singh betey Shrimati Bhaiyan bewa Thakar Singh putar Naranjan Singh rahin Arjan Singh Mukhtiar-e-asm.”

The Tehsildar, Ferozepur returned the Goshwara and pointed out these additions, observing that these had been made without proper attestation of any officer/official. On return these additions were struck out and the following fresh addition was made in the Goshwara in red ink on 7.3.95 as under:-

“Bazria Sh. Arjan Singh, Major Singh sons of Thakur Singh allatian Sh. Arjan Singh Mukhtiarai aam.”

2. On the basis of this goshwara the Tehsildar, Ferozepur is reported to have allotted them 2.9 SA land in village Masteke tehsil Ferozepur. Thereafter Arjan Singh approached the Government and sought the transfer of the case from Ferozepur to Mohali for making the balance allotment stating that he had relation residing at Mohali. The Goshwara was called for from the Tehsildar Ferozepur who returned the same vide Memo.No.83 dated 28.4.1998. The file remained in the custody of Sh. Kuldip Singh, Assistant (who has since retired) without due authority and without any further action. While relinquishing his charge he handed over the file with an undated and unsigned note. Thereafter reinvestigation of the claim was undertaken and grave discrepancies and inadequacies were found in the claim prepared by the Tehsildar-cum-Managing Officer.

With a view to verifying the position and to understand the background in which interpolations had been made in the Goshwara, Arjan Singh claimant was summoned for 7.11.2000. His statement was recorded by the Joint Secretary Rehabilitation which shall be referred in the later part of this order.

3. A perusal of the record and the statement of Arjan Singh shows that the case of the claimant suffers from the following glaring infirmities which go to the root of the order of additional allotment:-

(i)The original mutalba claim was set up under the signatures of Niranjan Singh, Bahal Singh and Sahib Singh sons of Ran Singh who were allotted land way back in 1948.Thereafter they never pointed out any deficiency in their allotment during their life time.This fact has clearly admitted by the petitioner before the Joint Secretary which leads to the inevitable conclusion that they were satisfied by their allotment and have been duly compensated.

(ii)Niranjan Singh is reported to have had a son by the name of Thakur Singh who it is claimed was the father of the petitioner Arjan Singh; even Thakur Singh is never reported to have filed any application regarding deficiency of allotment during his life time. It is therefore strange that the petitioner Arjan Singh and Major Singh who are the third generation, suddenly came up after a period of 40 years since independence to claim a deficiency in area.

(iii)The application dated 19.9.1987 was made by one Arjan Singh claiming to be son of Thakur Singh, claiming to be the attorney of Bhaiya widow of Thakur Singh and he represented to the Managing Officer that he alongwith Major Singh sons and Bhaiya widow were the sole LRs of allottees.No other name was mentioned in this application.Intriguingly enough, this application found favour with the Managing Officer and he generously passed the order dated 29.7.1991 fixing the allotment of Niranjan Singh, Bahal Singh and Sahib Singh to the extent of 3 SAs-2¼ units each through a half page order.He did not think it fit to make any inquiries regarding L.Rs of Bahal Singh and Sahib Singh. It is also surprising that Arjan Singh did not know the existence of his own brother Koka Singh when he originally filed the application on 19.9.87, and the Managing Officer conveniently failed to notice this grave discrepancy.A photostat copy of the General Power of Attorney dated 17.12.1987 shows it as having been executed by Smt. Bhaiya, Major Singh and Koka Singh.The cloud of suspicion surrounding the additional claim is further deepened by the statement of Arjan Singh recorded by Joint Secretary Revenue on 7.11.2000.Another name of Balbir Kaur was introduced as sister of Arjan Singh.It follows that Arjan Singh has been adopting shifting stand regarding the so called L.Rs of the original allottees.The Managing Officer also did not satisfy himself regarding the death of Bahal Singh, Sahib Singh and Niranjan Singh.Nobody has also bothered to ascertain the L.Rs of Bahal Singh and Sahib Singh.On the contrary in his statement dated 7.11.2000 Avtar Singh has stated that he has a sister also, whose name is Balbir Kaur.

(iv)It follows that Arjan Singh has no papers to connect him to the original claimants.He did not know the date of death of his father Thakur Singh and says he died approximately in 1968-69 (‘Maut andajan 1968-69 wich hoi si’).On the contrary he says that the three original allottees sold off whatever land they had.His papers, he states were with his counsel who has since died.He also states that his grandfather and his brothers died much before he gained consciousness. He says that presently he and his brother make a living by obtaining land on “Theka”.Surprisingly Smt. Bhaiya, who is supposed to have signed the Power of Attorney in favour of Arjan Singh alongwith other “legal heirs”has also not revealed in these papers that she has a daughter also.

4. Last but not the least the determination of eligibility for additional allotment suffers from the malady of latches. The allotment was initially made way back in 1948. Thereafter the so called L.Rs of Niranjan Singh remained lulled into deep slumber for 40 years before they got up one fine morning on 19.9.1987 to make a frivolous application through Arjan Singh who claimed to be their Attorney, which culminated into allotment by impugned order dated 29.7.1991. The said order even on a cursory glance reveals that there was absolutely no application of mind on the part of the Managing Officer. In this order the Managing Officer stating that the area falling in Khewat No.501, 504, 505, 515, 516, 519 and 520 had been allotted, proceeded to say that the area falling in khewat No.515 and 516 (which figures are also interpolated) had not been allotted. Therefore, on this material point (regarding Khewat Nos.) the order of Managing Officer is patently self-contradictory. All this manifestly suggests that the Managing Officer went out of his way in reviving the claim which had already been satisfied way back in 1948 when the original allottees had not raised any objection for forty long years, nor had their LRs come forward to agitate their claim. The entire claim before Managing Officer is based on photostat copies of papers selectively obtained from D.L.R’s office in 1987. Arjan Singh stated on 7.11.2000 that his father or grandfather did not hand-over any papers to him pertaining to the claim and no original paper was produced by him to connect him to the claim. Therefore, the order dated 29.7.1991of the Managing Officer is illegal and not sustainable and the same is set aside. As the very foundation of the claim for additional allotment has been demolished, the claimants are not entitled even to the additional area measuring 2.9 SAs falling in village Masteke Tehsil Fazilka Distt. Ferozepur which was earlier allotted to them on the basis of Goshwara issued by the Managing Officer, steps be taken to retrieve the same after affording an opportunity to the parties likely to be adversely affected by this cancellation. Action should also be initiated against the Managing Officer who passed the order dated 29.7.91 for which purpose a copy of the order be sent to R.E.I branch.

Chandigarh, dated

the 26th December, 2000

                                                                                  (SHYAMA MANN)

                                                                              Financial Commissioner Revenue,

                                                                                        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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