Punjab land grab: Justice Kuldip Singh Special Tribunal Report Part-II
Chandigarh, November 10
The Special Tribunal stated... “According to the Jamabandi for the year 1993-94, land measuring 570 kanal, 18 marla has been shown as “Jumla Mustraka Malkan Hasab Rasad Khewat" (common land in accordance with ratio in holdings)....We have examined the original ‘Consolidation Scheme’ prepared in the year 1971-72 when the consolidation was held in the village. The relevant para-III “Rakba Jadeed Baray Mustraka Agraj” (the area reserved for common purposes under the scheme) has been examined by us. Photo-copy of the said para has been placed on the record.
“The scheme mentions 22 purposes for which the areas have been reserved. 445 kanal, 19 marla has been reserved for “Gair Mumkin Nadi" (land which cannot be cultivated). An application under Section 42 of the East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act, 1948 was filed before K. S. Minhas, Additional Director Consolidation, who passed an order dated June 27, 1984, directing the Consolidation Officer to work out the shares of each co-sharer and mention the same in the revenue record so that a co-sharer may get a specific share in the joint holding of 420 kanal. Copy of the order is placed on the record.
“Before Minhas, an argument was raised that since a bandh has been constructed on the Nadi, therefore, the area reserved for Nadi under the 1971 consolidation scheme is not being used for that purpose and as such it should be divided among the right holders.
“On the basis of the order of KS Minhas, Rajinder Singh, Consolidation Officer, Ropar, on January 16, 1986, directed that the shares of the right holders be mentioned and recorded. He pronounced the shares, the details of which have been given in the order.
The Consolidation Officer by treating the totality of the reserved area of the consolidation scheme as Bachat, passed the order dated 16.1.1986 which related to the area measuring 590 kanal 12 marla entered as Jumla Mustraka Malkan.
“Based on the above mentioned orders, Mutation No.2378 was sanctioned on 25.11.1999. The said mutation shows the right holders as owners of their respective shares. The right holders further sold the shares to various persons. It may be mentioned that even before the sanctioning of the Mutation No.2378, the following persons obtained General Power of Attorneys in the year 1998 in respect of the areas shown against each. (see graphic)
“In the year 1998 and early 1999, the shares in respect of the area of 96 kanal 15 marla were purchased from the right holders by the following persons through registered sale deeds.
“In April 1999, about seven months before Mutation No. 2378 was sanctioned, Sumedh Singh Saini, SS Brar, Sonam Kumar, Darshan Kumar, Harjinder Singh and JS Brar — all the persons whose names have been mentioned above — got themselves recorded in joint cultivation of 229 Kanal, 2 Marla and the Circle Revenue Officer recorded in the revenue record “Billa Lagaan Ba Waja Bai”.
“Later on, during partal girdawari, vide order dated April 10, 2003 of the Circle Revenue Officer, the above mentioned six persons got their separate khasra girdawaries entered. However, the names of Darshan Kumar and Sonam Kumar did not find mention in the revenue record. These two persons had sold their land to different persons. According to the latest jamabandi, the following persons, among others, are occupying land which was purchased from the share holders who acquired their rights in terms of mutation No.2378, November 25,1999: (see above table)
“We are prima facie of the view that the orders dated 27.6. 1984 of Additional Director Consolidation of Holdings, the order dated 16. 1. 1986 of the Consolidation Officer, Ropar, mutation No. 2378 sanctioned on 25.11.1999 by AC-2nd Grade, the change of ownership from Jumla Mustraka Malkan to the right holders in the revenue records and the various sale deeds executed out of Jumla Mustraka Malkan land are wholly illegal, without jurisdiction and a nullity, inter alia, on the following grounds:
i). Admittedly, the totality of the land is Gair Mumkin Nadi which was also reserved in the consolidation scheme for the purpose. No right holder could have cultivated the said land and they had no right to the said land. No partition, etc, of the Gair Mumkin Nadi land could be done by the authorities.
ii). The area was reserved in the consolidation scheme for common purposes, including the nadi, and as such it got vested in the gram panchayat.
iii). By no stretch of imagination, the land in dispute could be considered as Bachat Land. The assumption by the authorities that the said land was Bachat”.
(To be continued)