Decided on October 31,1957

S KEHAR SINGH Respondents


- (1.) A common question of importance arises in Latters Patent Appeal No. 138 of 1956 and (Letters Patent Appeal No. 139 of 1956; Civil Writ No. 264 of 1956 and Civil Writ No. 453 of 1956). It relates to the validity and constitutionality of the Punjab Consolidation of Land Proceedings (Validation) Act, 1957 (Punjab Act No. VI of 1957) which will be referred to as the Act.
(2.) The facts in Letters Patent Appeal No. 138 of 1956 alone need be stated in order to appreciate the contentions of the parties. Consolidation proceedings were being taken in the village of Jaitaved and Sheikhupur Khurd, Tehsil and District Hoshiarpur. A petition was filed in February, 1956, by Kehr Singh and Munsha Singh alleging inter alia that certain lands had been allotted to them on quasi permanent basis and that thereafter proprietary rights in the entire land which had been allotted, with the exception of two standard acres and three units of land allotted to Waryam Singh had been transferred after the Central Government had acquired all the evacuee lands on the 24th of March, 1955, under the provisions of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 (Act 44 of 1954). It was further alleged that although the petitioners and respondent No. 4 had become full owners of areas allotted to them for which sanads has been granted to them, the Consolidation Authorities were not recognising them as owners under certain illegal and void instructions and that it was also sought to decrease the value and areas of the land which had been allotted. This petition was heard by Bishan Narain J. who allowed the same in view of the decision of the Division Bench in Suraj Parkash Kapur V. The State of Punjab, 1957 59 PunLR 103, which is now reported. Against the judgment of Bishan Narain J. Letters Patent Appeal No. 138 of 1956 has been filed by the State of Punjab.
(3.) The Bench held in the above case that under the East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act, 1948, the rights of quasi-permanent allottees could not be diminished without payment of compensation and that the executive instructions dated the 9th of February, 1952, and the 18th of February, 1953, had no legal force and must be ignored by Consolidation authorities. It was to overcome the effect of this decision that the Act was enacted after the prior promulgation of Punjab Ordinance of 1957, the provisions being identically the same.;

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