HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
UNION OF INDIA
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C.B. Capoor, J.C. -
(1.) This second appeal by Nanku, Hira and Abhai Ram is directed against an appellate order of the learned District Judge Mahasu, Sirtnur, Bilaspur and Kinnaur Districts whereby an order made by the Compensation Officer dismissing the application under Section 11 of the Himachal Pradesh Abolition of Big Landed Estates and Land Reforms Act, 1953, hereinafter to be referred as the Abolition Act, filed by the appellants and pro forma respondents Nos. 2 and 3 was set aside and the said application was allowed subject to a payment of Rs. 1567.02 Np.
(2.) The aforesaid application related to 9 Bighas 1 Biswa of land comprised in Khasra No. 86 si-uate in village, Jungle Narenti, and was filed against the Union of India. The defence put forward on behalf of Union of India was that the relationship of landlord and tenant did not subsist between the parties, that the Abolition Act was not applicable to land owned by the Government, that valuable trees stood on the aforesaid land which were under the control and management of the Forest Department and proprietary rights in those trees could not be conferred on the applicants and las'ly that if proprietary rights are conferred in the land along with the trees the value of the trees should also be paid to the landlord as compensation. On behalf of respondent No. 1, Budhi Singh a Forester was examined who inter alia stated that the disputed land was Reserve Forest under the control of the Forest Department and the tenants had no right in those trees and had merely the right to cut grass growing on the said land. No oral evidence' was led on behalf of the appellants and pro forma respondents. An extract from Jamabandi was, however, filed by them. The Compensation Officer reached the conclusion that the disputed land was forest land and did not fall within the definition of land as given in the Abolition Act and accordingly dismissed the application. An appeal was preferred by the appellants and the pro forma respondents against the aforesaid decision. The learned District Judge relying upon the extract from Jamabandi held that the appellants and pro forma respondents were the tenants of the disputed land and their right therein was not confined merely to cut grass and that the disputed land was land as defined in the Abolition Act. He further held that the tenants were liable to pay compensation in respect of the trees and accordingly he allowed the application under Section 11 upon payment of Rs. 1567.02 Np. which included a sum of Rs. 1518.54 Np. as the value of the trees standing on the disputed land. Aggrieved by the aforesaid order this appeal has been preferred.
(3.) The contention advanced on behalf of the appellants is that the trees are part of the disputed land and that no separate compensation was payable in respect of them. According to the appellants the amount of compensation is to be computed according to the II Schedule to the Abolition Act, i.e., at a specified multiple of the land revenue payable.;
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