Decided on August 10,1999

Harnam Kour Appellant
STATE OF JANDK Respondents


- (1.) THIRTY writ petitioners have come to" this Court challenging an order passed under Section 5 -A of Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971. They were served with a notice in terms of the aforementioned Section. The petitioners submitted their reply. This standa rejected. An order under Section 5(A) (2) has been passed. It is this order passed by the Estate Officer, Jammu Cantt. which is subject matter of challenge in this petition.
(2.) THE Estate Officer, Jammu cantt. formed an opinion to the effect that the land which is subject matter of notices issued to the petitioners was defence land. It was under the management of Estate Officer, Jammu Circle. It was mentioned that the petitioners have occupied the land and have raised puuca structures. It was in these premises, the petitioners were asked to show cause. The show cause notices are similarly worded. The area of land and survey nos. are different. Otherwise, the land is said to be defence land under the management of Defence Estates Officer (DEO), Jammu. As indicated below, the notices are similar, it has been stated that the petitioners have raised pucca structures with bricks, machinery work and RCC slabs.
(3.) THE petitioners submitted their reply. It was stated that the notices issued under the aforementioned Act of 1971 are unwarranted. It was pointed out that the land in question was under the continuous possession of forefathers of the petitioners. It was also stated that this was given to them by the State Government under Grow More Food Scheme. It was in these circumstances pleaded that the notices are uncalled for. Some of the petitioners took a plea that the land was allotted to one Harnam Kour w/o S. Devi Singh. This was allotted to her under Cabinet Order No. 578 -C of 1954. It is through her, they were claiming a right to continue on the land in question. Some of the petitioners are claiming the land in their own right. The matter was considered. An order of eviction has been passed. All that has been stated in the order is that the land mentioned in the notices is defence land under the management of DFO Jammu Circle, Jammu Cantt and this has been occupied by them unauthorisedly. As to what was the stand taken by the petitioners has not been adverted to. Whether they were the owners or whether they have come in possession through Harnam Kour was not considered at all. It is this order which is subject matter of challenge. The challenge is made interalia on the grounds. 1) that the order is not a speaking order: 2) that the plea put across by the petitioners has not been taken note of; 3) that the petitioners are in long possession lasting more than 40 years; 4) that the land came to be allotted to one Harnam Kour. This was in pursuance of a Cabinet order no. 578 -C of 1954. Thus, the long possession of 40 years is the sheet anchor of the claims put across by the petitioners.;

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