Friday, February 25, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

DCs empowered to handle revenue cases
By Sarbjit Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — The Punjab Government has decided to authorise the Deputy Commissioners in the state to entertain appeals of revenue cases decided at the collector level.

Earlier only Commissioners posted at the division level had such powers. But the powers will not vest with the Commissioners any more.

The Council of Ministers has already cleared a proposal mooted before it by the Punjab revenue department. When quizzed the Punjab Revenue Minister, Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, said as the Council of Ministers had approved the proposal, necessary amendments in the Revenue Act would be made in the Budget session starting on March 6 to declare the Deputy Commissioners appellate authority.

Mr Sewa Singh said the government had also decided to redesignate Commissioners as Divisional Commissioners. Earlier there was confusion as regards the designation of Commissioner as apart from the posting of commissioners at divisional headquarters, they were also posted in municipal corporations and elsewhere.

The decision declaring the Deputy Commissioners as appellate authority would go a long way in clearing the backlog of thousands of cases pending in the offices of Commissioners at the divisional headquarters for several years. As the number of Commissioners is only four, they have to deal with cases of 17 districts. Now their work will be distributed among 17 Deputy Commissioners.

Mr Sewa Singh said at the first stage cases were heard by Collectors in the rank of Subdivisional Magistrates and other designated officers by the Punjab Government. Parties concerned had the right to file an appeal against the decision announced by a Collector in the court of the Commissioner at the divisional headquarters. For this purpose people had to travel a long distance. For instance a litigant belonging to Pathankot had come to Jalandhar to file the appeal, and likewise a person belonging to Bareta Mandi had to travel a distance of 175 km or so to file an appeal at Faridkot, where the office of the Commissioner is located.

Terming this as a “major step” in revenue reforms taken up by the state government, Mr Sewa Singh said the entire revenue record of Fatehgarh Sahib district had been computerised.

The process of registration of land deeds have also been computerised in all districts except a few places where it will be done by March 31. A meeting of senior officers, including the Financial Commissioner (Revenue), and four Deputy Commissioners, will be held at Ludhiana on February 28 to review the functioning of the computer system in the registration of deeds.

The planned programme of sending six Deputy Commissioners to Andhra Pradesh to study the computerisation of the revenue records has been dropped. An Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) posted at Ludhiana has done a commendable job by preparing a software for the computerisation of the revenue records. The ADC is a degree holder in computer engineering. His software will be used all over the state.

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