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Randhir Singh Vs Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-M.O.

In the court of Shri M.S.Banwait, PCS, Joint Secretary Revenue-cum-Settlement Commissioner, Punjab, Chandigarh.

Appeal No.1/SC/Reh./FGH/99

 

Randhir Singh son of Gurdip Singh son of Iqbal Singh resident of Kotla Bajwara, Tehsil and District Fatehgarh Sahib.          ….Appellant.

Versus

1. Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum- Managing Officer, Revenue and Rehabilitation Department, Punjab, Punjab Civil Secretariat, Chandigarh.

….Respondent.

2. Lakhbir Singh

3. Jasbir Singh

4. Karamvir Singh

sons of Iqbal Singh.

5. Balbir Kaur

6. Sukhbir Kaur

daughters of Iqbal Singh;

7. Jaspal Singh son of Balbir Singh son of Gurdip Singh;

8. Rachhpal Singh son of Balbir Singh son of Gurdip Singh;

9. Ravinderpal Kaur dauthter of Balbir Singh son of Gurdip Singh;

10.Yadvinder Singh son of Jagbir Singh son of Gurdip Singh;

11.Rajinder Pal Kaur daughter of Jagbir Singh son of Gurdip Singh;

12. Narinder Pal Kaur daughter of Jagbir Singh son of Gurdip Singh all residents of village Kotla Bajwara, Tehsil and District, Fatehgarh Sahib.

…. Proforma

respondents.

Present: Sh. K.S.Grewal, Advocate, counsel for the appellant.

                                                                              ORDER

This is an appeal under Section 22 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 against the order dated 1.3.1999 passed by the Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer, Revenue and Rehabilitation Department ordering the cancellation of an area measuring 60-13 standard acres allotted to Sh. Gurdip Singh son of Sh. Iqbal Singh resident of village Jhungian Gammu, Tehsil Sultanpur Lodhi.

2. The brief history of this case is that Sh. Kewal Singh son of Sh. Surain Singh resident of village Rampur Jagir Tehsil Sultanpur Lodhi, District Kapurthala had complained that an area measuring 60-13 standard acres has been wrongly allotted to Sh. Gurdip Singh son of Sh. Iqbal Singh (who was resident of Muggal Chak, H.B.No.45, Tehsil and District Guzzranwala) in village Jhungian Gammu, Tehsil and District Kapurthala (now in Tehsil Sultanpur Lodhi) in lieu of land situated in village Chak Sehdev, H.B.No.278, Tehsil Daska, District Sialkot which was purchased by Kartar Singh in the name of Gurdip Singh. Further, that Sh. Kartar Singh Mann had got the claim in lieu of the above said land in village Jundla (Had Bast No.44) in Tehsil and District Karnal after obtaining a decree dated 23.8.1950 from the court of the Sub-Judge, Ist Class, Jalandhar on the statement of Sh. Gurdip Singh. Even when the land was allotted to Sh. Kartar Singh in lieu of the land abandoned in Pakistan, the land allotted to Sh. Gurdip Singh which ought to have been cancelled was not cancelled. In between the large chunk of land, including the land which stood allotted to Sh. Gurdip Singh in Jhungian Gammu, was acquired by the State for Harike Headworks and Rajasthan Canal Pond Area. Later on, the Government of Punjab decided to restore the surplus land (out of acquired area) to the original owners of land on the condition of depositing the amount of compensation paid to them by the State Government. The land earlier allotted to Sh. Gurdip Singh was also ordered to be restored consequently upon the depositing the amount of compensation. After repayment of compensation, Sh. GurdipSingh did not obtain the possession but got a Sanad issued in his favour from the Collector, Sultanpur Lodhi. As consolidation of village Jhungian Gammu had taken place, the Department of Consolidation initiated action to create a ‘Tak’ of Khasra numbers in accordance with the Sanad dated 25.1.1994.

3. After consideration of the above said complaint, the Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer issued registered notice to both the parties. The complainant appeared through his counsel while Sh. Randhir Singh son of Gurdip Singh (now appellant) appeared in person. No other heir of Sh. Gurdip Singh had put his/her appearance. Therefore, they were proceeded ex-parte. The Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer concluded that the land allotted to Sh. Gurdip Singh in village Jhungian Gammu in lieu of land abandoned in Pakistan deserved cancellation as allotment of land has since been made to Kartar Singh son of Kirpal Singh in District Karnal(Haryana) in pursuance of decree dated 23.8.1950 passed by the court of Sub Judge Ist Class, Jalandhar. Consequently, the Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer cancelled the allotment of land measuring 60-13 standard acres in the name of Sh. Gurdip Singh son of Iqbal Singh vide order dated 1.3.1999.

4. The appellant filed a Writ Petition No.4851 of 1999 praying for quashing of the order dated 1.3.1999 passed by the Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer, Revenue & Rehabilitation Department, Punjab as well as an earlier order dated 25.2.1999 passed by the Settlement Officer, Consolidation of Holdings, Jalandhar. The Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana passed the following order dated 14.9.1999:-

“The orders impugned are Annexures P-9 and P-10. A alternative remedy by way of appeal/revision petition is available to the petitioner which has not been exhausted. The writ petition is dismissed as premature. The petitioner may, if so advised, avail of the alternative remedy.”

5.Thereafter, the present appeal has been filed by the appellant.The case of the appellant is that GurdipSingh owned land in Sehdev Chak (Chak No.278) in District Sialkot, now in Pakistan.After partitionhe was allotted land in village Jhungian Gammu in district Kapurthala and his name was reflected in ownership column No.4 of Jamabandi 2011-12(B.K)=1955-56 (A.D).Sometime in 1957 the land was acquired for Harike Pond and after the recession of water, land was declared surplus and the Punjab Government decided to sell off the surplus area to willing purchasers preference being given to original owners.One such offer was made to Sh.Gurdip Singh son of Sh.Iqbal Singh.Since Sh.Gurdip Singh had expired by that time the offer was accepted by the appellant.Price quoted as Rs.20029-02 was paid in the Treasury on 25.1.1994.After that a sale certificate was issued by the Collector, Sultanpur Lodhi whereby 918 kanals 17 marlas of land was transferred absolutely to the appellant.As consolidation of holdings had taken place between 1957 and 1994 there appeared a need to identify the new khasra numbers of land sold.The Consolidation Officer vide his order dated 7.2.1995 identified the new khasra numbers.The illegal occupants of the above said identified land challenged the order of the Consolidation Officer in Civil Writ Petition No.1936 of 1995 on the ground that they were not heard by the Consolidation Officer. They were granted an opportunity and thereafter warrant of actual possession was issued by the Consolidation Officer.This was again challenged through C.W/P.No.2448 of 1996 by the illegal occupants and was dismissed.That the appellant and the co-sharers were put in physical possession vide Roznamcha Wakiati No.82dated 13.11.1998.The warrant of possession was ordered to be reviewed by the Financial Commissioner Revenue .In the meanwhile an ex-parte order dated 1.3.1999 was passed by the Tehsildar, Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer, Revenue & Rehabilitation Department cancelling the allotment to Sh.Gurdip Singh made in 1948.The appellant and other legal representatives filed an application praying that order dated 1.3.1999 be recalled since no notice was issued to the legal representatives before cancellation but it was dismissed on 24.3.1999.

6.The respondents were summoned and the record of Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer, Revenue & Rehabilitation Department was also requisitioned.Respondents No.2 to 12 did not appear in spite of having been served.Therefore, they were proceeded ex-parte.

7.I have carefully gone through the records and have heard the arguments of ld. Counsel for appellant.The order dated 1.3.1999 of Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer is being assailed primarily on the ground that he was not competent to review the order of his predecessor whereby the land was allotted in the name of Sh. Gurdip Singh.It is further asserted that the land was acquired by the State of Punjab and later on the appellant had purchased the same from the State Government and thus the Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer could not cancel the allotment of land.

8.In my view, these arguments are devoid of both the merit and logic.It is not disputed before me that the allotment of land measuring 60-13 standard acres in village Jhungian Gammu was made in the year 1948 to Gurdip Singh the predecessor-in-interest of the present appellant, in lieu of land abandoned in village Chak Sehdev, Teshil Daska, District Sialkot (Pakistan).On the other hand Sh.Kartar Singh who claimed to be the real owner of that land had filed a Civil Suit No.130 dated 25.5.1949 Against Gurdip Singh in the court of Senior Judge Ist Class, Jalandhar wherein he prayed for injunctions against Gurdip Singh restraining him from seeking allotment of land in East Punjab in lieu of land abandoned in village Chak Sehdev, Tehsildar Daska, District Sialkot (Pakistan). In that suit Gurdip Singh made a statement accepting the claim of Kartar Singh as the real owner.Consequently, a decree dated 23,8.50 was passed in favour of Kartar Singh and against Gurdip Singh restraining him from seeking allotment of land in lieu of the land abandoned in Pakistan as detailed in the said plaint.

9.The sequence of the events narrated above leads to an inescapable conclusion that Gurdip Singh had made the aforesaid statement in the Civil Court filed by Kartar Singh in complete suppression of the factum of the land having already been allotted in his name in the year 1948.He was audacious enough to mislead the Civil Court by misrepresenting as if he had not already obtained any allotment in lieu of the land abandoned in Pakistan.With the passing of the aforesaid decree dated 23.8.1950 based on the statement of Gurdip Singh, he became dis-entitled to the land which he had got allotted in his name before the passing of the said decree.In fact Gurdip Singh should not have lodged his claim for allotment in the first instance when he knew fully well that he was not the real owner which position has been admitted by him in his statement made in the Civil Court which culminated in the decree dated 23.8.1950.It may be noted here that Sh. Kartar Singh has also got land allotted in consequence of decree dated 23.,8.1950 passed by the Sub Judge, Ist Class, Jalandhar in lieu of land against which Sh.Gurdip Singh had already obtained the land in question.This fact stands confirmed by the Assistant Registrar, Rehabilitation Department Haryana vide his letter No.14459/ARH, dated 26.11.1996.The appellant did not implead Sh.Kartar Singh as a party in the present appeal obviously to avoid being confronted for pursuing the case of allotment in derogation of statement of Sh.Gurdip Singh predecessor-in-interest of the present appellant as also in violation of the decree dated 23.8.1950.It is also unfortunate that Sh.Gurdip Singh had suppressed the factum of having already obtained allotment in lieu of land abandoned by Kartar Singh in Pakistan while making a statement in Civil Suit No.130, dated 25.5.1949.He suffered this statement evidently to facilitate allotment of land to Kartar Singh also in lieu of the same very land (abandoned in Pakistan) against which he had obtained allotment of land measuring 60-13 standard acres and the appellant still wants to perpetuate the erroneous allotment which Sh. Gurdip Singh had obtained before the decree dated 23.8.1950 was passed.Thus the allotment of land which was not rightfully obtained by Gurdip Singh was justifiably cancelled after the true facts came to the notice of the Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer.Obviously, there was no impediment in the way of Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer in cancelling the allotment which was obtained on wrong premises as an Authority can always act to undo the patent error based on misrepresented facts. Further the impugned orders were passed in the presence of the appellant Randhir Singh and by no stretch of imagination the same can be said to be ex-parte orders.Besides this, the prayer of the appellant against the cancellation of allotment of land is absolutely misconceived as it directly militates against the consequences flowing from the statement made by Sh.Gurdip Singh (who is predecessor-in-interest of the appellant) in Civil Suit No.130 of 1949 in the court of Sub Judge, Ist Class, Jalandhar that he would not seek allotment of land in lieu of the land abandoned by him as benami owner, of which Sh.Kartar Singh was the real owner. The prayer also runs counter to the contents of the aforesaid decree dated 23.8.1950, which restrained Sh.Gurdip Singh from claiming any allotment in East Punjab against his benami land holdings in Pakistan.

10.Another argument advanced by the counsel for the appellant is that the land which was allotted in village Jhugian Gammu in lieu of land abandoned in Pakistan was acquired by the State and appellant had purchased it after it was released to him as original owner.In this context he asserted that the Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer had no jurisdiction to order cancellation of the allotment, as the status of the land has undergone a change due to compulsory acquisition of land by the State.

11. This argument is absolutely fallacious. As would be noted, Sh.Gurdip Singh predecessor-in-interest had acquired ownership of land in village Jhugian Gammu by virtue of allotment of land in lieu of land abandoned in village Chak Sehdev, Tehsil Daska, District Sialkot (Pakistan). Further, Sh.Gurdip Singh was only a benami holder of land in village Chak Sehdev and the real owner was Kartar Singh as noted in para 9 above. Kartar Singh, after filing civil suit No.130 of 1949 in the Court of Sub Judge Ist Class, Jalandhar obtained decree dated 23.8.1950 restraining Sh Gurdip Singh from obtaining any allotment of land in East Punjab in lieu of land abandoned in village Chak Sehdev (of which Gurdip Singh was benami owner and he was the real owner). On the strength of the said decree dated 23.8.1950 Sh.Kartar Singh got his claim sanctioned in village Jundla, Tehsil and District Karnal (Haryana) and got land in lieu of said abandoned land in village Chak Sehdev in (Pakistan). As Sh.Gurdip Singh had concealed the factum of having already got an allotment of land in village Jhungian Gammu in lieu of land abandoned in Chak Sehdev (Pakistan) while making statement in the civil suit No.130 of 1949 in the Court of Sub Judge Ist Class, Jalandhar obtained decree dated 23.8.1950 restraining Sh.Gurdip Singh from obtaining any allotment of land in East Punjab in lieu of land abandoned in village Chak Sehdev (of which Gurdip Singh was benami owner and he was the real owner). On the strength of the said decree dated 23.8.1950 Sh.Kartar Singh got his claim sanctioned in village Jundla, Tehsil and District Karnal (Haryana) and got land in lieu of said abandoned land in village Chak Sehdev in (Pakistan), As Sh.Gurdip Singh had concealed the factum of having already got an allotment of land in village Jhungian Gammu in lieu of land banadoned in Chak Sehdev (Pakistan) while making statement in the civil suit No.130 of 1949 in the Court of Sub Judge Ist Class, Jalandhar his allotment of land in village Jhungian Gammu remained in tact, despite the decree dated 23.8.1950 which he himself had suffered. Obviously, two claims in respect of one and the same piece of land abandoned in Pakistan could not be sanctioned and therefore after the claim of Sh.Kartar Singh was sanctioned in village Jundla, District Karnal (Haryana) as a consequence of the decree dated 23.8.1950, the allotment of land to Sh.Gurdip Singh in village Jhungian Gammu could not remain in force. Therefore, the cancellation of this allotment by the Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer, Revenue & Rehabilitation Department vide his impugned order dated 1.3.1999 though belated only effaced the mischief which had been committed by Gurdip Singh at the back of real owner of land namely Sh. Kartar Singh, when viewed in retrospective, it leads to an irresistible inference that Sh. Gurdip Singh was not even entitled to claim compensation of that land in the capacity of a bonafide owner on its compulsory acquisition by the State. Conversely, he was not even entitled to lay his claim for restoration of land in his capacity of a real owner of the acquired land. Therefore, it is a case of patent misrepresentation of facts and inevitably an attempt is being made to fraudulently frustrate the effect of the decree dated 23.8.1950 referred to above and to retain the land to which Gurdip Singh, the predecessor-in-interest of appellant had no title from the very inception.

12.In view of the above discussions, I do not find any fault in the impugned order and there is no scope for interference in the order of the Tehsildar Boundary Cell-cum-Managing Officer, Revenue & Rehabilitation Department and the appeal is, therefore, dismissed.

Announced.

(M.S.Banwait)

Chandigarh, dated

the Settlement Commissioner

Punjab,

the 02.03.2000 Chandigarh.

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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