Singh & Ors Vs. State of Punjab & Ors  INSC 852 (25 July 1996)
K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)
JT 1996 (7) 446 1996 SCALE (5)695
O R D
appeal by special leave arises against the order of the Division Bench of the
Punjab & Haryana High Court made on 20.9.1978 in LPA No.404/75 confirming
the order of the learned single Judge dated May 8, 1975 setting aside the order
of taking over possession of the surplus land dated July 20, 1961 and directing
redetermination of the surplus land. The admitted facts are that the Collector
exercising the power under PEPSU Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1955
determined surplus land of the respondents at 18.82 standard acres by
proceedings dated May
28, 1960. The order
was not challenged by filing the appeal. Notice of surrender was given on June 3, 1961 calling upon the respondents to
deliver possession of the aforesaid surplus land within ten days from the date
of the receipt or the notice. Admittedly, the possession of 18.82 standard
acres of land was taken by the State officials from Inder Singh who had
acknowledged taking over possession on July 12, 1961.
it would appear by consolidation proceedings that had taken place in the year
1961-62, it was found that Inder Singh was having less extent of land than the
prescribed standard acres under the Act. Consequently, when he filed an
application before the authorities, the Commissioner as well as the revisional
authorities negatived the claim resulting in filing of the writ petition. As
stated earlier, the learned single Judge and the Division Bench of the High
Court have set aside the Government order on the ground that Inder Singh was
found having less land than the prescribed standard acres under the Act as was
determined in the consolidation proceedings. Therefore, the surplus land was
required to be redetermined and restituted.
question is: whether the view taken by the High Court is correct in law? When
the standard acres which Inder Singh was entitled to retain was determined and
surplus land of an extent of 18.82 standard acres was determined by order dated
May 28, 1960. That order having been allowed to became
final. would it be open to Inder Singh or any person claiming title through him
to seek redetermination. When they had not challenged the order and
subsequently in the consolidation proceedings he was found to hold less extent
than the prescribed standard holding, are they entitled to redetermination? We
are of the considered view that it is impermissible. It would be open to Inder
Singh or any person claiming title under him to have challenged the correctness
of determinating surplus land by filing appeal before the appropriate forum.
Admittedly, no steps had been taken. On the other hand, the order was allowed
to become final and possession of the surplus land of 18.82 standard acres was
taken over as admitted by Inder Singh by the proceedings July 12, 1961. The land was simultaneously
redistributed to the landless persons as per the scheme of the Government who
are the appellants before this Court. Having allowed that order dated May 28, 1960 and the proceedings of delivery
dated July 12, 1961 to become final, it would not be
open to either Inder Singh or anybody on his behalf to claim redetermination.
The view of the High Court is clearly illegal.
appeal is accordingly allowed. The writ petition stands dismissed. But, in the
circumstances, without costs.