PRITAM KAUR Vs. STATE OF PEPSU
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
PRITAM KAUR S.MUKAND SINGH
STATE OF PEPSU
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(1.) THIS is an appeal under Clause 10 of the Letters Patent and is directed against the order of Bishan Narain J. passed in a petition under Article 226 of the constitution praying that the estate be released from the Court of Wards on the ground that Section5 (2) (a) of the Pepsu Court of Wards Act (No. 1 of 2008 Bk.)is ultra vires the Constitution of India. This appeal came up before me while sitting with the Chief Justice on the 13th of September, 1960, and it was ordered that it should be heard 'by a lager Bench. Consequently, this matter has been placed before the-Full Bench.
(2.) THE petitioner-appellant is one Smt. Pritam Kaur widow of Mukand Singh, who was murdered on the nth of April, 1928. Mukand Singh at the time of his death was possessed of considerable landed and house property. He left landed and other property in various villages in the erstwhile Jind State. He was survived on his death by two widows, that is, Smt. Pritara Kaur and Smt. Pavittar Kaur and three daughters from Smt. Pavittar Kaur. At the instance of Smt. Pavittar Kaur the judicial and Home Committee of the erstwhile State of Jind proposed on the ist of june, 1928, that the estate of Mukand Singh should be placed under the superintendence of the Court of Wards. This proposal was accepted by the Cabinet of that State vide its order dated the 5th of July, 1928, with the result that the estate of Mukand Singh was taken possession of by the Court of Wards Jind State. '
(3.) AFTER the independence of India, the Rulers of the various East Punjab States including the State of Jind entered into a covenant whereby these States formed themselves into a Union known as the Patiala and East Punjab States Union. In pursuance of this covenant. Ordinance No. 1 of 2005 Bk. (The Patiala and East punjab States Union Administration Ordinance, 2005 Bk.) was promulgated. Section 3 of this Ordinance reads thus :
"3. As soon as the administration of any Covenanting State has been taken over by the Raj Pramukh as aforesaid, all Laws, Ordinances, Acts, rules, Regulations, Notifications, Hidayats, Firmans-i-Shahi, having force of law in Patiala State on the date of commencement of this Ordinance shall, apply mutatis mutandis to the territories of the said State and with effect from that date all laws in force in such Covenanting State immediately before that date shall be repealed; provided that proceedings of any nature whatsoever pending on such date in the courts or offices of any such Covenanting State shall, notwithstanding anything contained in this Ordinance or any other ordinance, be disposed of in accordance with the laws governing such proceedings in force for the time being in any such Covenanting State. " According to this Ordinance after the 20th August, 1948, all Jind laws had to come to an end and the Patiala laws were to become applicable. (See in this connection section 1 and the preamble to the Ordinance ). Thus after the 20tb of August, 1948, the Court of Wards Jind State could not retain possession of the property of the petitioner and her co-widow. This Ordinance was replaced by the Patiala and East Punjab States Union General Provisions. (Administration) Ordinance', 2005 (XVI of 2005 Bk. ). Section 3 of the Ordinance No. 16 of 2005 Bk. Is in these terms :
"3. (i) As from the appointed day, all laws and rules, regulations, byelaws and notifications made thereunder, and all other provisions having the force of law, in Patiala State on the said day shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the territories of the State and all laws in force in the other covenanting States immediately before that day shall cease to have effect : provided that all suits, appeals, revisions, applications, reviews, executions and other proceedings, or any of them, whether civil or criminal or revenue pending in the Courts and before authorities of any covenanting State shall, notwithstanding anything contained in this ordinance, be disposed of in accordance with the laws governing such proceedings in force in any such Covenanting State immediately before the appointed day. (2) x x x x x";
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