STATE OF PUNJAB Vs. GRAM PANCHAYAT
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PUNJAB & HARYANA)
STATE OF PUNJAB
Click here to view full judgement.
(1.)This appeal, by special leave, is from the judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh dismissing appellant's C.W.P. No. 5436 of 1995 on February 27, 1996, following the judgment of this Court in Gram Panchayat of Village Jamalpur vs. Malwinder Singh and others (1985) 2 Suppl. SCR 28.
(2.)To appreciate the controversy involved in this case it would be necessary to notice the facts giving rise to this appeal. The first respondent filed application before the Development and Panchayat Officer-cum-Collector, Ludhiana (for short, 'the Collector') under S. 7 of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulations) Act, 1961 (for short, 'the Act') for possession of the land in dispute on the ground that the land has vested in it and the same was mutated in the name of Panchayat by order of the Tehsildar dated September 4, 1986. Appellant Nos. 2 and 3 contested the claim of the first respondent pleading; that the land belonged to the Government of Punjab and it was allotted in their favour under a package deal in lieu of which the amount was also deposited in the Treasury; that the possession of the land was given to them as per the order of the Tehsildar in the year 1970 and on that basis they have been in possession of the same; that the mutation in the name of Panchayat was done without notice to them, therefore, it is illegal; that by mutation the Panchayat did not become the owner of the land in which there was potato farm which was Government Agency; that the Government of Punjab established the potato farm by spending crores of rupees; that pucca buildings were constructed on the site snd 27 bores and 9 electric motors were also installed there; and that there are 12 tractors of the farm on the site. It was further averred that the Government was spending about 10 to 11 lakhs per year on the potato farm.
(3.)The Collector, after discussing the evidence placed on record by the parties, pointed out that appellant Nos. 2 and 3 (the respondents therein) had not produced any proof to show that the disputed land was allotted by the Punjab Government or that the potato farm was purchased from the Government that from the beginning the disputed land was being shown in Jamabandi as Shamilat deh and on September 4, 1986, the mutation of the land was effected in favour of the Gram Panchayat. With regard to dispute of title to the land it was noted that appellants never brought to his notice that the title dispute should be decided first nor was any application filed for that purpose before him. It was held that the disputed land was owned by Gram Panchayat and in that view of the matter he ordered delivery of possession of the land to the Gram Panchayat. Appellant Nos. 2 and 3 herein filed an appeal against the said order before the Director, Rural Development and Panchayat. Punjab (exercising the powers of Commissioner under the Act) (hereinafter referred to as, 'the Commissioner'). The Commissioner, on examining record in the light of the contentions of the parties, held that the documents brought on record did not link up the case with the land in question and that nothing was placed on record to support the package deal and as to how and when the land was allotted to the Horticulture Department and accordingly dismissed the appeal on January 11, 1995. The correctness of the order of the Commissioner was assailed in the Writ Petition by the said appellants and the State of Punjab, which, as stated above, was dismissed by the High Court by the order under challenge in this appeal.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.