Read Order: State Of Punjab V. Lakhmir Singh And Others

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, April 20, 2022: Negating the contention of the petitioner’s counsel to the effect that in view of Section 42-A of the East Punjab (Consolidation of Holdings and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act, 1948 , the amount of compensation paid by the Government with respect to Jumla Mustrika Malkan land could not be paid to the proprietors, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the land put in the common use of the village under Section 18 after applying pro-rata cut shall continue to vest in the propriety body.

The Bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal held, “Rule 16 of the [199 Rules], the ownership of such Jumla Mustrika Malkan land which has been derived after applying pro rata cut on the land holdings of the proprietors shall not vest with the Gram Panchayat with respect to its ownership. In fact Rule 16(ii) itself provides that the land put in common use of the village under Section 18 of the 1949 Rules after applying pro rata cut shall continue to vest in the propriety body.”

In this case, the State of Punjab assailed the correctness of the order of the Additional District Judge, Mohali, in the execution petition. 

Pursuant to compulsory acquisition of the land, the State has deposited a certain sum of money towards the acquisition of the Gram Panchayat deh land, whereas, the sum of Rupees 7 Crores was deposited towards Jumla Mustrika Malkan land. 

The Executing Court directed the District Revenue Officer to furnish the shares of various claimants/proprietors of the Village Raipur Kalan in order to disburse the compensation of the acquired land with regard to the Jumla Mustrika Malkan land to the proprietors.

The counsel representing the petitioner contended that in view of Section 42-A of the 1948 Act, the amount of compensation with respect to Jumla Mustrika Malkan land could not be paid to the proprietors.

The Court, at the very outset, reiterated the findings it recorded while examining a connected issue pertaining to the interpretation of Section 42-A of the 1948 Act, in Labh Singh and others Vs. State of Punjab and others held that the Jumla Mustrika Malkan land was derived after applying a pro-rata cut on the landholdings of the proprietors at the time of consolidation of holdings in accordance with Sections 18 and 23 of the 1948 Act. 

Further, the Court opined that Rule 16 of the 1949 Rules, the ownership of such Jumla Mustrika Malkan land which was derived after applying pro-rata cut on the landholdings of the proprietors shall not vest with the Gram Panchayat with respect to its ownership. In fact, the Court added that Rule 16(ii) itself provides that the land put in the common use of the village under Section 18 of the 1949 Rules after applying pro-rata cut shall continue to vest in the propriety body.

Hence, finding no ground for interference, the Court dismissed the petition. 

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