IN THE COURT OF MRS. SHYAMA MANN,IAS, FINANCIAL COMMISSIONER REVENUE, PUNJAB, CHANDIGARH.
M.R.No.56 of 1998
Gian Chand (deceased) son of Milkhi Ram through:
sons of Gian Chand,
iv)Smt. Vidya widow of Gian Chand,
daughters of Gian Chand,
residents of B-XII-410, Kirti Nagar Ladowali Road, Near Dada Motor Garage, Jalandhar.
1.Chief Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar;
2.Hans Raj, Shiv Charan Dass
sons of late Hazara Ram residents of H.No.82, Sodal Road, Preet Nagar, Jalandhar;
3.Om Parkash son of Karam Chand resident of Kirti Nagar, Ladowali Road, Jalandhar.
Present: Sh.G.S.Nagra, Advocate, counsel for the petitioners.
Sh. C.S.Jammu, Advocate, counsel for respondent No.2.
Sh. Surinder Singh, Advocate, counsel for respondent No.3.
This revision petition is directed against the order dated 14.5.1998 of Chief Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar whereby he had dismissed the revision petition which had filed by Gian Chand against the order dated 1.9.1994 of the Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar.
Checklist for revenue authorities Summary of the orders Letter to all the Deputy Commissioners
- The matter here concerns the transfer of Urban Evacuee site measuring 718 Sq. yards bearing khasra No.5855 min. Ladhowali Road, Jalandhar. The records reveal that in 1969 Hazara Ram son of Rakhu Ram applied for transfer of this land claiming to be in possession of the same since 1965 and having constructed a house thereon. This request found favour with Rehabilitation Department and the said site was ordered to be transferred to Hazara Ram on the basis of his possession by negotiation in accordance with the standing instructions. The transfer price was fixed at Rs.150/- per marla, vide allotment Memo.No.S.O.(U.L)/F-7/Khasra No.5855 Ladhowali road, Jalandhar dated 20.5.1969. Sh. Hazara Ram was communicated the decision to sell the said plot by negotiation at assessed price of Rs.4650/- out of which a sum of Rs.1395/- being 30% value of the property, and he was directed to deposit the same within 15 days on the receipt of said letter dated 20.5.1969 and to appear before the Settlement Officer (U.L), Jalandhar on 9.6.1969 for execution of an agreement for payment of balance price in installments.
- Sh. Hazara Ram did not deposit the initial amount and instead preferred an appeal against the demand of price before the Regional Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar. He accepted the appeal vide his order dated 5.7.1969 and reduced the price to Rs.125/-per Marla. It appears that Hazara Ram did not take any further steps for deposit of the initial price on the balance thereof. There is a photo copy of the application dated 27.7.1983 on the file from Shiv Charan Dass, Lekh Raj and Hans Raj sons of Hazara Ram wherein it is mentioned that Hazara Ram had expired on 6.5.1983 leaving behind his aforesaid 3 sons. They prayed for being brought on record as his legal heirs and further requested for finalization of the transfer of the plot in their favour. It appears repeated opportunities were afforded to Hans Raj for production of documentary evidence in support of their claim for transfer of the property. Eventually the claim was rejected vide order dated 9.2.1993 of the Tehsildar, Jalandhar on their failure to produce evidence.
- This order of the Tehsildar was challenged by Hans Raj and others before the court of S.D.O.©-cum-Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar in appeal u/s 22 of the Displaced Persons(C & R) Act, 1954 wherein Om Parkash and Gian Chand were also impleaded as respondents who are also shaking their claim on the basis of possession as their father had deposited Rs.5160/- as damages charges for the property in dispute from 1.1.86 to 2/93. They claimed to have spent huge amount on the improvement and construction over the property in dispute. It was contended that no valid and legal notice was served to the petitioners. It was further averred that the case remained under litigation, as Swami Purnanand was claiming the property to be of Dharmsala Guru Sahib Ram Rai Mai Hiran Gate, Jalandhar but later on it was finally decided by the Custodian General (Punjab) vide order dated 16.3.1978 that it was evacuee property where after a request was made for deposit of the balance price as the earnest money had already been paid, but the relevant file could not be linked up. It was further contended that damages are being assessed in the names of Om Parkash and Gian Chand for the purpose of transfer of the property in their name with the connivance of the staff at the lower level. It was further asserted that the position of Om Parkash and Gian Chand respondent No.1 and 2 was that the licensees of appellants and their independent position could not be recognized. It was contended that due to the death of Hazara Ram receipts of payment were not traceable but the payment could be verified from old files. It was further alleged that Om Parkash and Gian Chand, respondents No.1 and 2 being close relatives of Hazara Ram were given shelter for some time but they stayed on the property very tactfully on one pretext or the other.
- The appeal was accepted by the Court of Sh.K.K.Sharma, Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar vide his order dated 1.9.1994. The Ld. Settlement Commissioner observed that the property was proposed to be transferred in the name of Om Parkash and Gian Chand respondents No.1 and 2 without deciding the previous claim of Hazara Ram through his sons. While accepting the appeal he remanded the case to the Tehsildar, Jalandhar, with the direction that previous application filed by Hazara Ram (deceased) through his sons be decided on merits by linking up the old files, before passing any final order. The case was directed to be decided afresh after giving due opportunities to the parties concerned of being heard and leading their evidence if any.
- This order dated 1.9.1994 of the Settlement Commissioner was challenged by the L.Rs of Gian Chand in revision before the Chief Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar. The revision petition was dismissed vide order dated 14.5.1998 by confirming the findings of the lower court to the effect that the claim of Hazara Ram did not stand settled and the property was further proposed for its transfer in the name of petitioner Gian Chand without deciding the previous claim of Hazara Ram. It follows that the order of remand dated 1.9.1994 passed by the Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar was upheld and the parties were relegated to their original position for getting their competing claim decided by the Tehsildar-cum-Managing Officer.
- In the present revision petition against the order dated 14.5.1998 of the Chief Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar which has been filed by the legal heirs of Gian Chand deceased that they have not said anything regarding the merit of their claim to the allotment of the land in dispute. They have simply stated that Sh. Hazara Ram who was allotted the disputed land on the basis of his possession in 1969 never fulfilled the conditions of allotment nor did his sons take any steps in that direction. According to them the possession was abandoned by Hazara Ram long before the petitioners allegedly came into possession of the land and thus the sons of Hazara Ram had got no right, title or interest in the land. In support of this claim they have averred that respondents Hans Raj and Shiv Charan Dass son of Hazara Ram (impleaded as respondent No.2 in this revision petition) were given opportunity by the Tehsildar Sales to show the receipts if any regarding payment for the land in dispute but they failed to do so and the Tehsildar Sales rightly passed the order dated 9.2.1993.
- I have carefully gone through the case and have heard the arguments of the Ld. Counsels for the parties. The claim of the petitioners is that they deposited Rs.5160/- as damages for the property in dispute for the period 1.1.1986 to 2/1993 and thereafter they spent huge amount on its improvement. The petition does not seek any positive relief in favour of the petitioners except for setting aside the order dated 1.9.1994 passed by the Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar and restoring the order dated 9.2.1993 of the Tehsildar Sales-cum-Managing Officer.
- A close scrutiny of the facts and circumstances surrounding this case leads to an irresistible conclusion that both the parties have no valid claim for allotment of property in dispute and they are engaged in mad race to get the property in dispute by outwitting each other or they are conniving with each other to grab property worth lakhs of rupees having close relations. So far as the claim of Hazara Ram and his legal representatives is concerned, there is nothing to show on the record that Hazara Ram or his sons had ever taken any tangible steps to deposit the initial amount or subsequent installments of the price of the land right from 1969 onwards. Repeated opportunities were given to the sons of Hazara Ram to produce documentary evidence regarding the deposit of the initial amount or the subsequent installments but they failed to do so. Thus, there is absolutely no merit in their claim for allotment. It follows that no useful purpose is going to be achieved by remanding the case for further investigating the so called previous claim of Hazara Ram as directed in the impugned order dated 14.5.1998. Since the legal representatives of Hazara Ram had miserably failed to adduce any documentary evidence regarding deposit of any amount by them or their father Hazara Ram towards the price of the disputed land, they do not deserve any further indulgence to prolong the litigation interminably without any fruitful results.
- In the result the order dated 9.2.1993 of the Tehsildar, Jalandhar is hereby confirmed by setting aside the orders dated 1.9.1994 of the Settlement Commissioner and followed by order dated 14.5.1998 of the Chief Settlement Commissioner.
- The petitioner Gian Chand also does not stand on better footing and cannot arrogate to himself the allotment of land in dispute on the basis of his possession. The sons of Hazara Ram have been claiming that Gian Chand and Om Parkash had been inducted in the land in dispute by Hazara Ram as his licensees to give them shelter. There is no evidence regarding the nature and duration of possession of Gian Chand. Gian Chand has claimed to have deposited Rs.5160/- by way of damages from 1.1.1986 to 2/1993. This paltry amount of deposit not backed by order of any competent authority does not help Gian Chand in substantiating his claim for allotment. The land in dispute measures 718 Sq. yards and is located on Ladhowali Road which is a prime locality of Jalandhar. The market price of the land in dispute would run to lakhs of rupees and cannot be thrown away by allotment to Gian Chand. The State of Punjab is already facing fiscal crunch and only open auction of such like prime lands can fetch desired dividends. Therefore, while accepting the revision petition for setting aside the impugned order, the claim of the petitioner against the land in dispute is rejected. The land may be retrieved forthwith and action be taken to recover the damages for unauthorized possession.
Chandigarh, dated Financial Commissioner Revenue,
The 25th April, 2000 Punjab