HC quashes Punjab, Haryana orders on vesting shamlat, jumla land in gram panchayats : The Tribune India

HC quashes Punjab, Haryana orders on vesting shamlat, jumla land in gram panchayats

‘Instructions are ultra vires the constitutional right of property enshrined in Article 31-A and Article 300-A of the Constitution’

HC quashes Punjab, Haryana orders on vesting shamlat, jumla land in gram panchayats

Photo for representational purpose only. File



Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, March 17

Putting to rest the legal controversies generated by similar instructions by the States of Punjab and Haryana on vesting shamlat and jumla mushtarka malkan land in the gram panchayats or the municipal bodies concerned, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today quashed the same.

“Executive instructions dated June 21, 2022, and August 18, 2022, issued by the State of Haryana and dated October 11, 2022, issued by the State of Punjab, whereby the ownership rights of the lands in question are sought to be transferred in favour of the gram panchayats/municipalities, through executive fiat, are held to be contrary to the very scheme of the statute and are hereby quashed, particularly in view of the fact that these executive instructions cannot result into arbitrary cancellation of valid title over the properties,” the Bench of Justice Sureshwar Thakur and Justice Kuldeep Tiwari asserted.

The ruling came on 76 petitions against Punjab and Haryana by Bhambool Singh and other petitioners. They were aggrieved by the executive instructions issued by the two State governments for the purported implementation of Supreme Court judgment dated April 7, 2022, in the case of 'State of Haryana versus Jai Singh and others”.

One of the questions before the Bench was whether the verdict could be assigned retrospective effect even to lands otherwise saved from vestment under the previous Acts –– “The Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961” and “The Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1953”.

The Bench asserted there could not be implicit retrospectively of an amending law where substantive rights are involved, unless there was an explicit provision to give retrospective effect. Substantive rights remain unaffected by changes in the main legislation.

“It appears that the impugned instructions/letters have been issued in a most slipshod and perfunctory manner without any application of mind either to the judgment of the Apex Court in Jai Singh's case or to any of the other statutes or legal principles carried in the statutory provisions,” the Bench asserted.

It ruled land ownership, continued to be shown as reserved for ‘common purposes’ whether utilised or unutilised, would vest in the gram panchayats or the municipalities. Land proposed or shown to be reserved for common purposes, but partitioned or redistributed amongst the proprietors under the consolidation scheme were held to have never come under the gram panchayat’s  management and control. In case of lands sold/resold to bonafide purchasers after due diligence and for valuable consideration, the title or possessory rights of bona-fide purchasers would remain unaffected, except when the sale deeds in their favour was set aside by the courts of competent jurisdiction.

Lands earlier shown or proposed to be reserved for common purposes but returned/redistributed amongst the proprietors under the orders of the revenue court/ consolidation officer where the ‘management’ or ‘control’ was never transferred to the gram panchayats could not automatically be presumed to have vested in the gram panchayats or municipalities.

 

*The instructions are in breach of the Apex Court verdict’s mandate in Jai Singh's case, whereby only a very limited retrospectively is assigned to the amended provisions.

*The instructions are ultra vires the rules of natural justice.

*The instructions assign untenable retrospectively to the amended provisions. Yet do contemplate payment of compensation to landowners concerned.

*The instructions are ultra vires the constitutional right of property as enshrined in Article 31-A, and Article 300-A of the Constitution.

Tribune Shorts


Top News

BJP only pan-India party today amidst family-run political outfits: PM Modi

India shining on world stage, natural for anti-national forces to unite: PM Modi

Says unprecedented assault on corruption has angered those w...

Licences of 18 pharma firms cancelled for manufacturing spurious drugs

Licences of 18 pharma firms cancelled for manufacturing spurious drugs, 26 issued show-cause notices

As part of the special drive, the regulators have identified...

Amritpal Singh seen without turban on Delhi street in fresh CCTV footage

Amritpal Singh seen without turban on Delhi street in fresh CCTV footage

Behind him, Papalpreet Singh, who is said to be his mentor, ...

Bhagwant Mann hits out at Akal Takht Jathedar for ‘provoking’ people through ultimatum to AAP govt

Bhagwant Mann hits out at Akal Takht Jathedar for ‘provoking’ people through ultimatum to AAP govt

Punjab CM accuses Jathedar of favouring the Badals; Giani Ha...

Atiq Ahmed held guilty in 2006 Umesh Pal kidnapping case, his brother acquitted

Atiq Ahmad, 2 others get life sentence in Umesh Pal kidnapping case

7 others, including Ahmed's brother Khalid Azim alias Ashraf...


Cities

View All