Chandigarh, June 16
Less than a month after the Mohali Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) issued a letter on delivering the possession of a chunk of land to the Mullanpur Garibdass gram panchayat without delay, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed against the initiation of coercive steps.
The directions by the Bench of Justice GS Sandhawalia and Justice Jasjit Singh Bedi came on a petition filed by Naib Singh and other residents of Mullanpur Garibdass village in Kharar. They were seeking the quashing of impugned order dated May 20 passed by the respondent—the ADC directing the Mullanpur Garibdas village gram panchayat and the Kharar Block Development and Panchayat to immediately take possession of land belonging to the petitioners.
Counsel Pankaj Bhardwaj told the Bench that the land measured 2,321 bighas and three biswas. The orders were passed ignoring the fact that the petitioners were the owners in possession since 1909-10. It was supported by documentary evidence and their rights were protected under the Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation Act), 1961.
The Bench was told that the land in dispute always remained in the possession of the proprietors and was in the cultivable possession of the forefathers of the petitioners/khewatdars “much before 1945-46”. It was never reserved or used for any common purpose of the village community. As such, the land in dispute was neither covered under the definition of Shamlat Deh, nor reserved in any consolidation proceedings.
Appearing before the Bench, Bhardwaj submitted that the respondent-ADC issued a letter that “wherever judgment/decision has been passed regarding shamlat land of the villages of Mullanpur Garibdas, Satabgarh, Jeoli, Manak Majra, Chhoti-Bari Anangal, Daon and Chapparchiri, proceedings be taken to get delivered the possession of the land to the Gram Panchayat without any delay”.
Accepting notice of motion, Punjab Additional Advocate-General SPS Tinna submitted that the impugned communication was only regarding “possession to be taken of those lands whereby there has been a decision in favour of the Gram Panchayats”.
Fixing the case for July 27, the Bench asserted: “If that is so, keeping in view the background, no coercive steps shall be taken by the respondents qua the two sets of litigations which are pending both at the initial stage and at the appellate stage, till the next date of hearing”.
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