RAM SINGH Vs. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
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T.U.Mehta, C.J. -
(1.) The petitioner, Shri Ram Singh, applied for the grant under the Rules called "Resettlement and Rehabilitation of Bhakra Dam Oustees (Grant of Land) Scheme, 1971", hereinafter shortly referred to as the 'Resettlement Scheme of 1971'. Under this Scheme an 'oustee' means a person who has been deprived of his house, land or both on account of acquisition proceedings in connection with the Bhakra Dam Project and entitled to compensation in lieu therefor. The petitioner claims to be one of such oustees and has, therefore, filed an application for grant of land under Rule 9 of the Rules framed by the Government under the said scheme. After his application was processed, the Resettlement and Rehabilitation Officer, Bilaspur district, recommended the grant of 3 bighas 7 biswas of land of Tika Chandpur comprised by khasra No. 1280/ 1144/1 in favour of the petitioner. This recommendation was made as per annexure 'A' which is dated 19-12-1972. Pursuant to this recommendation, the Deputy Commissioner sanctioned the grant in favour of the petitioner on 20-12-1972 as per annexure 'B'. Thereafter, PATTA annexure 'C' was issued in his favour on 15-10-1973, and mutation was also sanctioned on 27-5-1974 as per annexure 'D'.
(2.) Then on 13-2-1975 the petitioner made an application for exchange of land purporting to be an application under Rule 27 of the Nautor Rules, 1968. In this application he stated that he was in possession of the land comprised by khasra No. 428/4 but that land should be exchanged for Khasra No. 1280/1144/1 which was actually granted in his favour under the Resettlement Scheme of 1971, During the pendency of this application for exchange, respondent No. 4 appeared before the Deputy " Commissioner, who was hearing that application, and took objection against the original grant made in favour of the petitioner on 20-12-1972 as per annexure 'B', The objection was that the petitioner was in possession of more land and has obtained the grant in his favour by practising fraud. The Deputy Commissioner, believing that Rule 27 of the Nautor Rules, 1968 applied to the facts of the case, went into the question whether the grant in favour of the petitioner, made as per annexure B was correctly made or not and came to the conclusion that that grant should be set aside. He accordingly passed the following order : "In view of this the order dated 20-12-1972 needs to be reviewed and accordingly the case be referred to the Divisional Commissioner for obtaining permission." He thus referred the matter to the Divisional Commissioner for review of the grant made in favour of the petitioner as per annexure 'B'.
(3.) The short question which arises to be considered is whether the order dated 18-8-1975 passed by the Deputy Commissioner (Annexure 'E') referring the matter to the Divisional Commissioner is a legal order or not. It is an admitted position that the grant which was made in favour of the petitioner as per annexure 'B' was under the Resettlement Scheme of 1971. This Resettlement Scheme itself makes some provision about the exchange of land in Rule 13 which is in the following terms:
"Rule 13, Exchange--Notwithstanding anything in the scheme the allotment of land may he made by the Deputy Commissioner, Bilaspur in exchange for an oustee's land acquired for Bhakra Dam Project, as provided hereinbefore, provided that an oustee, has not received any compensation for his land acquired and that the compensation for his land has been deposited in the Government account." This rule has no application to the facts of the present case and, therefore, the application for exchange made by the present petitioner before the Deputy Comissioner could not be considered as an application under Rule 13 quoted above. The rules framed by the Government under the Resettlement Scheme of 1971 are self contained rules and for the implementation of this Resettlement Scheme provisions contained in the Nautor Rules, 1968 could not have been invoked either by the petitioner or by the Deputy Commissioner. The Rules of Resettlement Scheme of 1971 have their own scheme which is quite independent of the scheme contemplated by the Nautor Rules. This particular position will be clear by reference to Rule 8-A of the Nautor Rules which is in the following terms :
"Rule 8-A. Nothing under these rules, shall apply to the grant of land for the rehabilitation of persons displaced, as a result of anything done for any public purpose to be recognised as a public purpose for this rule, by the State Government, grant of land for this purpose will be made according to the formal scheme approved by the State Government either generally or specifically for each project or scheme or other action entailing such displacement." Thus this rule specifically takes out the application of Nautor Rules to the grants made for rehabilitation of displaced persons. Under the circumstances the petitioner could not have invoked Rule 27 of the Nautor Rules, 1968 and his application for exchange under that rule, was liable to be dismissed on that short ground. But what the Deputy Commissioner has done in this case is as per order annexure 'E', to assume jurisdiction under Rule 27 of the Nautor Rules, 1968 which jurisdiction he did not have. Therefore, the order found at annexure 'E' is obviously non est. If that order is non est then the reference made by him to the Divisional Commissioner would also be non est,;
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