IN THE COURT OF MRS. SHYAMA MANN, IAS, FINANCIAL COMMISSIONER REVENUE, PUNJAB, CHANDIGARH.
Misc. Reh. No. 49 of 1997-98
Sons of Karam Chand son of Bhagat Ram residents of House No.13/9, Gandhi Camp, Jalandhar.
1.The Union of India;
2.The State of Punjab;
3.The Chief Settlement Commissioner, Punjab;
4.Shakuntla Bhalla daughter of H.R.Jaidke;
5.Bhisham Jaidke son of H.R.Jaidke;
Through their Attorney Deepak Bhalla son of Satya Pal Bhalla, resident of House No.183/1, Saheed Udham Singh Nagar, Jalandhar City.
6.The Government High School Gandhi Nagar, Jalandhar, Parents Teachers Association through its alleged President
Misc. Reh.No.50 of 1997-98
sons of Karam Chand son of Bhagat Ram residents of House No.13/9, Gandhi Camp, Jalandhar.
1.The Union of India;
2.The State of Punjab;
3.The Chief Settlement Commissioner, Punjab;
4.The Government High School Gandhi Nagar, Jalandhar, Parents Teachers Association through its alleged President
5.Shakuntla Bhalla daughter of H.R.Jaidke;
6.Shisham Jaidke son of H.R.Jaidke through their Attorney Deepak Bhalla son of Satya Pal Bhalla resident of House No.183/1, Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar, Jalandhar City.
Present: Sh. P.N.Aggarwal, Advocate, counsel for the petitioners.
during Sh.O.K.Puri, Senior State Counsel for the State.
arguments Sh. Dinesh Ghai, Advocate, counsel for respondent- Parents Teachers
1 These are two connected petitions under Section 33 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 for setting aside the order dated 31.3.1998 of the Chief Settlement Commissioner, Punjab by which the President Parents Teachers Association, Government High School Gandhi Nagar, Jalandhar, Shakuntla Bhalla and Shisham Jaidke respondents have been impleaded as party in the cases pending before the Chief Settlement Commissioner, Punjab. As the facts and issues in both the applications are similar these are being disposed of by a single order, a copy of which shall be placed on each of the files.
2.Common facts of this case as agitated by the petitioners are that Karam Chand predecessor-in-interest of present petitioners made an application for transfer of land measuring 4 kanals 12 marlas situated in Gandhi Nagar, Jalandhar in his capacity as sub-lessee. The said application was rejected by the Tehsildar (Sales), Jalandhar on 10.4.1978 because prior to 1950 the status of Karam Chand was gair-marusi and not as sub-lessee. The Settlement Commissioner accepted the appeal on 1.6.1978 and remanded the case to the Managing Officer with the directions to transfer the land in view of instructions dated 1.10.1962 issued by the Rehabilitation Department. The application of Karam Chand was rejected on 29.1.1980. However, Settlement commissioner again accepted the appeal on 1.7.1980 and remanded the case to Managing Officer to decide this case keeping in view instructi9ons given by Financial Commissioner revenue in his order dated 20.5.1980. On the report of Kanungo(s), Managing Officer admitted the possession of petitioners at the spot and held on 9.10.1992 that petitioners were eligible for the transfer of land comprising in khasra No.707(4-12). The petitioners deposited the rent as well as price of land and thereafter conveyance deed dated 14.10.1992 was issued in their favour. On certain complaints Deputy Commissioner took up the matter as a suo-moto reference to the Chief Settlement Commissioner and vide his order dated 29.10.1993 set aside the order dated 9.10.1992 of Tehsildar(Sales). Aggrieved by this order the petitioners came in petition under Section 33 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation)Act, 1954 before Financial Commissioner Revenue
which was accepted on 23.4.1996 without going into the merits of this case and case was remanded to the Chief Settlement Commissioner (Rehabilitation Department) Punjab for giving fresh decision after hearing the parties and giving them a proper opportunity.
3.During the pendency of the case before the Chief Settlement Commissioner Smt. Shakuntala Bhalla, Bhisham Jaidke and the Partent Teachers’ Association filed applications for being impleaded as parties in the proceedings.These were allowed by Chief Settlement Commissioner vide common order dated 31.3.1998 which is the impugned order.
M.R.No.49 of 1997-98 is directed again impleading Shakuntala Bhalla and Bhisham Jaidke as respondents vide Chief Settlement Commissioner’s order dated 31.3.1998, while M.R.No.50 of 1998 is directed against impleading the Parent Teachers’ Association of Govt. High School Gandhi Nagar, Jalandhar as respondent vide the same order dated 31.3.1998.
4. In M.R.No.49 of 1997-98 it has been pointed out that these two persons had filed an application dated 4.10.1994 before Financial Commissioner revenue while M.R.No.19 of 1993 under Section 33 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 was pending before him. That application was opposed by the Parent Teachers’ Association and it was rejected by Financial Commissioner Revenue vide a detailed order dated 6.6.1995. On the same averments these parties filed an application dated 6.8.1996 before the Chief Settlement Commissioner which has been wrongly allowed by Chief Settlement Commissioner vide her order dated 31.3.1998. It has been argued that there was no justification for the Chief Settlement Commissioner taking a different view from that of the Financial Commissioner Revenue. The second objection is that Smt. Shakuntala Bhalla and Bhisham Jaidke are total strangers to the case. Not having been a party before any lower authority, they cannot be allowed to join at the revisional stage. Moreover, the only reason they have come forward is that they want to establish their independent claim over a part of the property as co-sharers, for which purpose they became suddenly active after 1987 and also manipulated the revenue record. In particular a reference has been made to 1996(3) RCR 593 vide which it has been held that as per provisions of CPC Order 1 Rule 3 and 10 no person can be impleaded unless he is a necessary or proper party to the lis to get his rights determined in the suit of another party. The applicants want to get their own rights determined and decided in the suit filed by the petitioners and they cannot be allowed to be impleaded as a necessary party simply to avoid multiplicity of litigation. The same is the view held in 1996 (3) RCR-419.
5. In respect of the Parent Teachers’ Association of the Govt. High School, Gandhi Nagar against the objection is that the persons who are agitating their right to being impleaded as total strangers to the suit. The only issue before the competent authority is whether the property has been transferred in the name of the petitioners correctly, and not whether there are any other contenders of the same. Even if it is admitted that the allotment was cancelled on the basis of a complaint, the informant is a mere informant and he cannot be considered to be a party to the lis or an aggrieved party. Such a person is in no better a position than a person who gives information to the police about the omission of an offence and has no right to be heard in view of the above pronouncements of the Hon’ble High Court.
6. The counsel for the respondent Association has stated that the dispute relates to transfer of prime land measuring 4 kanals 12 marlas adjoining the school. The transfer in favour of the two petitioners was cancelled by Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Sales Commissioner, Jalandhar on the complaint of the Parent Teachers’ Association of the School. The impression conveyed by the petitioners that they were not given an opportunity to explain the position is not correct. When the respondent had made the complaint Chief Settlement Commissioner Jalandhar had given his findings only after hearing both the parties and after going through the record and these facts are evident from his order. The counsel for the respondent-Parent Teachers’ Association has further stated that the order dated 31.3.1998 of Chief Settlement Commissioner is interlocutory in nature; the main proceedings are still pending before Chief Settlement Commissioner as the matter was remanded by Financial Commissioner on 23.4.1996 and therefore the two petitions against the interlocutory order are not maintainable under Section 33 of the Displaced Persons ( Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954. The petitioners are interested only in prolonging the matter as they have sold off this land at very high prices, and pocketed the money. They are guilty of committing a fraud on the Rehabilitation Department as they have tried to grab valuable Govt. land for a throw away price for personal gain. The disputed piece of land is adjoining the Govt. High School Gandhi Nagar and the transfer application of the School is pending for its use as a play-ground. It is a Govt. School and the land also belongs to the Govt. There is thus no ulterior motive or individual interest of the Association in the case; the only common interest is the welfare of the children and betterment of their surroundings. The transfer of land was rightly cancelled by Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Sales Commissioner, Jalandhar on the basis of a complaint by the Parent Teachers’ Association as it was found that the record had been tampered with and manipulated to suit the interests of the petitioners. That the petitioners and the lower revenue functionaries connived to make a fast buck is evident from the fact that roughly only Rs.10,000/- were charged by the Managing Officer from the petitioner (Rs.3514/- as rent and Rs.6740/- as price of the plot) which works out to less than Rs.75/- marla or Rs.375/- for 5 marlas. As per petitioners own admission they entered into an agreement for selling an area measuring 5 marlas out of this for a consideration of Rs.65,000/- within a couple of months after its transfer in their favour. The Tehsildar (Sales) was not competent to determine the price of the land which could only be done by the Settlement Officer. The petitioners have virtually sold off the entire land thereafter, and they are now interested in prolonging the proceedings on one pretext or the other to ensure that the order of cancellation of transfer does not become final.
7. I have heard the counsel for the parties and read the papers on record including the record attached to M.R.19 of 1993-94. It is noticed from the record that soon after the property was transferred in favour of the petitioners there was a spate of allegations against them and the lower revenue authorities regarding manipulation of revenue record for facilitating the transfer, some of these are listed in the order of Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Settlement Commissioner’s order dated 29.10.1993. The matter also found vide pu8blicity in the press.
8. The land belongs to the Govt. and the market rate is very high and the petitioners are obviously interested in pressing only their own case and are in a position to engage the best possible assistance. It becomes the duty of an Govt. Officer exercising authority under the Act to ensure that the legitimate interest of the Govt. is not jeopardized due to lack of pleadings. Any assistance in arriving at the truth should therefore be welcome.
9. Presently, the matter is pending with Chief Settlement Commissioner as a revisional authority under Section 24 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation ) Act, 1954. Revisional powers are in the nature of inherent powers for passing appropriate legal orders contemplated by the statute and if any error has been committed by the subordinate authorities in passing orders under the Act, to correct the same. It would be immaterial whether the Authority was moved by the department or any person uninterested, interested or aggrieved. Viewed in this context no fault can be found with the Parent Teachers’ Association joining the proceedings. Rather in the background of the fact that the Parent Teachers’ Association had played a very active role in presenting the facts before the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Settlement Commissioner, their association with the proceedings before the Chief Settlement Commissioner in the now pending revision is essential. If the petitioners’ case is good on merits it is in their own interest that the allegations are discussed in open court and the controversy laid to rest once and for all. Even in the case of Smt. Shakuntala Bhalla and Bhisham Jaidke, it is felt that the petitioners have tried to read too much into the intentions of the Chief Settlement Commissioner. It has been recognised in a number of judicial pronouncements that the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act is a complete code by itself. Moreover, the order of the Chief Settlement Commissioner dated 31.3.1998 is interlocutory in nature and has been passed by her in her capacity as a revisional authority under the said act. Therefore, a reference to provisions of CPC in the context of this interlocutory order was perhaps not strictly relevant. In view of this discussion I find no merit in the contentions of the petitioners and the two petitions are accordingly declined.
10 In passing it is observed here that under Rule 119 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Rules, 1955 there is bar against appearance of legal practitioners in respect of proceedings under certain sections of the Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Act including under Section 33. Despite this and the interlocutory nature of the order the counsel for the parties have been given ample opportunity to make their pleadings before me in open court. However, if the petitioners are aggrieved by the final order of the Chief Settlement Commissioner, whenever made, they have the remedy under Section 33 of the Act.
Chandigarh, dated Financial Commissioner Revenue,
the 3rd August, 1999 Punjab.