MANOHAR LAL RATNA Vs. UNION OF INDIA
LAWS(P&H)-1954-9-13
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
Decided on September 21,1954

MANOHAR LAL RATNA Appellant
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) This writ petition has been placed before us in pursuance of an order of reference passed by my learned brother Mahajan, J., inter alia on account of Single Bench decisions Which were considered not to be reconcilable those decisions being in Nand Lal V. The Regional Settlement Commissioner. (Civil Writ No. 1135 of 1957) decided by Gurnam Singh, J., on 9th May, 1958, and Jaswant Singh Gyani V. The Regional Settlement Commissioner (Civil Writ No. 1076 of 1958) decided by Grover, J., on 18th May, 1959. The other point; necessitating reference has, however, not been presssed.
(2.) The facts giving rise to the present proceedings as stated in writ petition are that an evacuee property No. BII/236 at Ludhiana was requisitioned by the District Magistrate, Ludhiana, under the Punjab Requisitioning and Acquisition Act and was allotted by the District Majistrate to Kesho Nath Raheja Respondent No. 3 in this Court who was at that time in the Government service and posted at Ludhiana. Later he was transferred to Simla and thereafter to Chandigarh. According to the averments in the writ petition he was no longer in occupation of the above property after his transfer from Ludhiana. On acquisition of the said property by the Central Government under Section 12 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and' Rehabilitation) Act, 1954, the question of disposal of the property arose before the Rehabilitation authorities. As this property did not stand allotted in favour of anyone, it was auctioned and the Petitioner gave a bid of Rs. 12,000 which being the highest bid was accepted. On behalf of Respondent No. 3 his son gave, a bid for Rs. 11,500 The sale in favour of the Petitioner was duly confirmed, the letter of confirmation having been received by the Petitioner on 7th March, 1958. Respondent No. 3 preferred an appeal against the order of the District Rent and Managing Officer accepting the Petitioner's bid and, it was urged that the property in question should not have been sold by auction. It was rejected by the Assistant Settlement Commissioner, but on revision the Chief Settlement Commissioner reversed the order. A further revision by the Petitioner to the Central Government under Section 33 of the Act was rejected. It is in these circumstances that the matter has come before us and the only ground on which the impugned order has been assailed is that Respondent No. 3 could not be considered to be in sole occupation of the house in question so as to attract Rule 25 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Rules, 1955. In the written statement by Respondent No. 3 it has been asserted that after his transfer to Simla his family and children who were studying at Ludhiana remained in this house with the result that the house remained in the occupation, of the answering Respondent. Indeed the department has also admitted his occupation by charging rent from him up to 30th September, 1955. According to this written statement the District Rent and Managing Officer had illegally and improperly auctioned the house and the said auction has been rightly set aside by Respondent No. 2.
(3.) The Petitioner's Learned Counsel has submitted that this case is covered by the decision of Grover, J., in Jaswant Singh Gyani V. The Regional Settlement etc. (Civil Writ No. 1976 of 1958) decided on 18th May, 1959. In that case Jaswant Singh, had in June, 1948, been allotted a house at Hoshiarpur as a displaced person on payment of a rent of Rs. 6 per mensem. Since he was serving as a Gyani teacher in a Government School, on his transfer to Ludhiana he was allotted the disputed house by the District Magistrate in July, 1957, of which he had been paying rent. It is this house which he wanted to be allotted to him under Rules 25 and 26 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Rules, 1955. The Respondents in that case urged that Jaswant Singh Gyani had been allotted a house as a displaced person at Hoshiarpur and that the house at Ludhiana which had been originally requisitioned by the District Magistrate had been allotted to T.N. Kapoor of the Civil Supplies Department and on his transfer it was allotted to Jaswant Singh. On its acquisition by the Central Government under Section 12 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954, the requisition had come to an end and that Jaswant Singh's occupation could not be considered to be authorised. The learned Judge on these pleadings observed that Rule 26 could only be attracted where allottable acquired property is in the sole occupation of a displaced person, who does not hold a verified claim. Jaswant Singh had, according to the learned Judge, not been allotted the property at Ludhiana in the capacity of a displaced person but the same had been allotted to him under a misapprehension that that property was still under requisition and that it could be allotted to him as a Government servant. Rule 26 was thus held inapplicable to an unauthorised occupation or "such occupation as is the result of an allotment on some ground other than the one on which an evacuee property could be allotted to a displaced person". The only property allotted to Jaswant Singh, as a displaced person was the one at Hoshiarpur whereas the house at Ludhiana had, been allotted to him in the capacity of a Government servant. The contention that Jaswant Singh was paying the rent regularly which was being accepted by the office of the Regional Settlement Commissioner was negatived because in the opinion of the learned Judge this was being done all the time on the assumption that the requisitioning was continuing although it may have ended when the property was acquired by the Central Government. With these observations the writ petition was dismissed. A Letters Patent Appeal was preferred against this order, and it came up for hearing before G.D. Khosla, C.J., and Mahajan, J., in August, 1960. Whether under Rule 26 the sole occupation should be as a result of an allotment by the Rehabilitation Department to a displaced person as such was not considered by the Bench for the decision of the controversy, but Rule 26 was held not to confer any right on the Petitioner to claim the transfer of the house in question.;


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