SHRIMATI LILA DEVI Vs. STATE OF PUNJAB
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
SHRIMATI LILA DEVI
STATE OF PUNJAB
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(1.) This rule is obtained by Shila Devi wife of Arjan Dass for a writ of certiorari and mandamus to quash the order passed by the Deputy Commissioner on the 11th June 1953 and for restraining the opposite party from disposing the petitioner. On 23rd June 1943 Dr. Allah Jowaya of Lahore leased out 700 acres of land in Tahsil Pathankot to the petitioner for a period of 5 years. It is not stated what the yearly lease was. On the death of Dr. Allah Jowaya his legal representatives started proceedings for eviction of the petitioner. This was in 1946. But it is alleged that in July 1947 at Dalhousie Mohd. Anwar, Barrister-at law, a son of Dr. Allah Jowaya alone entered into a compromise and that a fresh oral lease was given in favour of the petitioner in the presence of some Advocates and Ziladar. This lease is alleged to be for a period of ten years, but it is significant to note that in the petition it is not stated what the yearly lease was to be and I have been informed counsel for the petitioner today that the petitioner was not to pay any amount as lease money. It is also significant to note that the lease was made by Mohd. Anwar alone and not by the other heirs of Dr. Allah Jowaya. Although in the petition the dates are not given but in a chronological statement of fact which was put before me by counsel it is stated that on the 25th March 1948 the petitioner filed a suit against the Custodian for declaration of her titled and for injunction. She obtained an injunction but as a result of change in the law the order was vacated. On the 2nd August 1948 the Additional Deputy Commissioner passed an order allotting the land to Surat Singh and others, and they filed a claim on the 31st August 1948 under section 7 of the East Punjab Evacuee Property Act and these proceedings were before Mr. Ram Chand, Assistant Custodian, Gurdaspur. On the 27th September, 1948 five witnesses were examined the evidence of the rest of the witnesses.
(2.) Mr. Jaswant Singh Uppal, Additional Deputy Commissioner, ordered the possession to behanded over to the allottees, but the Assistant Custodian, Gurdaspur, issued an order of stay. Subsequently there were some proceedings as to whether the possession had actually been taken or not, which were before the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Dalhousie, under section 145 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The order of stay was vacated by Mr. Ram Chand on the 8th October, 1948. The petitioner then moved the Additional Custodian to set aside the order of the Assistant Custodian but he refused to interfere, and an application for revision was brought to this Court against the order of the Assistant Custodian, dated the 8th October, 1948, under section 7(6) of the Punjab Act 14 of 1947 on the 19th October, 1948. The petition for revision was admitted by Ram Lal C.J. on the 20th October, 1948 who also ordered stay. On the 29th May 1950 the revision petition was heard by Harnam Singh, J. who dismissed it and held that the Assistant Custodian had no power to issue an injunction and that he acted justly in vacating the injunction granted by him when it was brought to his notice that the allotment order had been made in favour of somebody else. C.R. 293 of 1948.
(3.) The petitioner was not merely satisfied with her petition for revision. She also moved this Court for a notice of contempt against Mr. Jaswant Singh Uppal, Additional Deputy Commissioner and Mian Raghbir Singh a Tehsildar which was dismissed on the 28th May, 1951 on the ground that there was no justification for any action to be taken under the Contempt of Courts Act. Another proceeding was started under Article 226 by the petitioner which was heard by Harnam Singh J. and was summarily dismissed. Against this judgment a Letters Patent Appeal was taken which was dismissed. During the course of their judgment the Division Bench said :-
"We are told that this claim has not been proceeded with but it would appear that the reason for the delay is due to the numerous applications made by the present applicant not only to this Court but to other officers of the Custodian's Department. There seems to be no endeavour whatever on the part of the applicant to have progress made in the proceedings under section 7."
Continuing it was observed -
"There can be little doubt that the mannoeuvering which seems to have gone on for the last to four years has been designed in order to postpone a decision and the last relief the applicant can legitimately claim is further stay of any proceedings pending the disposal of the application under section 7."
and the appeal was dismissed in the following words -
"On the facts I can find no justification whatever for our interference and I would dismiss this appeal with costs which I would assess at Rs. 50.";
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