Dasaudha Singh & Ors Vs. State of
Haryana & Ors  INSC 281 (16 November 1972)
MATHEW, KUTTYIL KURIEN MUKHERJEA, B.K.
CITATION: 1973 AIR 710 1973 SCR (2)1006 1973
SCC (2) 393
D 1974 SC1121 (4)
East Punjab Utilisation of Lands Act 1949-Ss.
7 and 11--Scope Whether after the expiry of the lease the owner can get back
his property Power of the Collector under S. 7(1)-Whether eviction possible
only under Punjab Tenancy Act.
Section 7 of the East Punjab Utilisation of
Lands Act 1949, provide that where any land taken possession of by the
Collector under Section is, on the expiry of the lease to be returned to the
owner, the Collector may, after enquiry, specify by order in writing, the
person to whom possession of the land shall be given and that delivery of
possession of land shall be a full discharge of the Collector of all liability
etc., Further where the right person cannot be found, the Collector shall affix
a notice on the land declaring it to have been released. After such a notice,
the Collector or the Government shall not be liable for any compensation
Section II provides that the Collector may use force for enforcing his order
made under this Act.
In the appeals, the main question for
determination was the scope ambit and interpretation of S. 7 read with S. 1 1
of the Act. It was contended by the appellants that under S.7, the Collector
had no power to evict a lessee after the expiry of the lease. For that purpose
Mort mug be had to the provisions of the Punjab Tenancy Act 1887, of the Genera
Dismissing the appeal,
HELD : (1) Section 7(1) of the Act cannot be
read in isolation, but has to be interpreted in the light of the purpose and
scheme of the Act ,as also the other relevant provisions. The sole purpose for
which the Act was enacted was to ensure that such lands as were capable of
producing food or fodder but which owing to the neglect on the part of the
owners were not being cultivated, are utilised for cultivation. Under S. 3, the
Collector is empowered to take possession of any cultivable land which remained
fallow for the last six or more harvests. The Collector was to give a lease for
the minimum period of 7 years, but not, more than 20 years. The tenant,
however, knew beforehand that on the expiry the period of the lease, he would
have to surrender possession to the owner.
The Act, nowhere contemplated that the owner
should be completely deprived of As ownership right. The compensation to which
he was on titled under s. 4 was for the temporary deprivation of the exercise
of his ownership rights. [1011 HI (ii)Section 7(1) when read in the context
clearly shows that it was intended to empower the Collector to make an order in
writing after the expiry of the lease saying that the 'possession of the land
shall be given to the person named or specified in the order. The words,
"to whom possession of land shall be given' contained the mandate under
which the 1007 Collector derived powers of that the possession of the land was
to be given by the tenant to the owner whose name was specified in the
Collector's order. If the tenant did not comply with the order or direction
made under & 7, the Collector could use such steps or force as was
necessary compliance with the order. [1013 C] (iii)The answer to the question
that eviction could take place only under the Tenancy Act or the general law,
and not under Section 7(1) of the Act, is that the East Punjab Utilisation of
Lands Act 1949 was intended to be exhaustive for the purpose for which it was
enacted. it is hardly possible to regard a tenant of the Collector under the
Act as falling within the definition of a 'tenant' under the Tenancy Act. The
whole purpose of the Act would be defeated if the provisions of the Tenancy Act
were made applicable to it. If that were the intention, the Tenancy Act were
made applicable to it. If that were the intention, the legislature would have
provided for it. As regards compensation, no provision has been made in the Act
for payment of any compensation for great hardship by being asked to give up
all lands, but that hardship could to alleviated, or some relief given by the
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeals
Nos. 825831 & 956 & 823/1972.
Civil Appeals Nos. 825-831 & 956 of 1971.
Appeals by certificate from the judgment and
order dated February 23, 1972 of the Punjab & Haryana High Court at
Chandigarh in Civil Writ Nos. 2147, 2168-2172, 2200 and 2185 of 197 1.
Civil Appeal No. 823 of 1972.
Appeal by certificate from the judgment and
order dated February 23, 1972 of the Punjab & Haryana High Court at
Chandigarh in Civil Writ No. 2112 of 1971.
L.N. Singhvi, B. Datta and S. K. Dhingra, for
the appellant (in C. As. Nos. 825 & 826/72).
B. Datta and S. K. Dhingra, for the
appellants (in C,A. Nos. 828/72).
B.Datta, for the appellants (in C.A. Nos.
827, 829-831 & 956/72).
Bishan Narain and B. D. Sharma, for
respondents Nos. 1 & 2 (in C.As. Nos. 825-829, 831 and 956/72 and
respondent No. 1 in C.A. No. 830/72).
N. S. Das Bahi, for the respondent No. 52 Cm
C.A. No. 826 1972).
S. C. Manchandda and J. C. Talwar, for,
respondents (in C.As. Nos. 827, 828 & 856/72).
G. S. Chatterjee, for respondents (in C.A.
1008 Urmila Kapoor and Kamlesh Bansal, for
respondents (in C.As.
Nos. 830, 831 & 956/72).
D. S. Golani and Kailash Mehta, for the
appellant (in C.A.No. 823/72).
B. D. Sharma, for respondent No. 1 (in C.A.
S. S. Khanduja, for respondent Nos. 2-5 &
9-11 (in C.A.Nos. 823/72).
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
GROVER, J. In these appeals by certificate from a judgment of the Punjab &
Haryana High Court the main question required determination relates to the
scope, ambit and true interpret of s. 7 read with s. 1 1 of the East Punjab
Utilization of Land Act, 1949, hereinafter called the 'Act'.
We need state the facts only in C.A. 825/72
(Dasau Singh & Others v. State of Haryana). The Collector Karnal out an
area of 1154 Acres in villages Pehowa and Murtzapur jointly to Karnal
Cooperative Society Ltd., Pehowa and Lyalpur Coop.
Joint Famiing Society, Murtzapur under s. 5
the Act. Owing to some dispute which arose subsequent to lease between the two
societies the Registrar gave an award the matter having been referred to him
for arbitration. According to that award the entire land in village Murtzapur
and 17 Acres of land in village Pehowa were given to the Lyalpur Society and
the remaining 357 Acres of land in village Pehowa to the Kamal Society. The
lease was originally for a certain number of years but it was extended for a
period of twenty which is the maximum period for which a lease could be granted
under the Act. By a notice dated May 17, 1971 the signal Officer, Kaithal,
issued a notice to the lessees under s. of the Act. In the notice it was
stated, inter alia, that the origin owners had applied for the return of the
land leased out as the period of the lease had I expired. The lessees were
required hand over possession to the original owners. On June 15, 197 the
Sub-Divisional Officer passed an order directing the Tehsil to take possession
of the land and give actual possession the ,of to the original owners. These
proceedings were challenged in the High Court under Art. 226 of the
Constitution. The High Court disposed of the writ petition together with the other
writ petitions which had been filed on similar grounds by a common judgment
dismissing all the petitions.
In order to appreciate the points in
controversy the relevant provisions of the Act may be referred to as also the
background in which the Act came to be enacted.
According to the Statement of Objects and
Reasons in the Bill large tracts of fertile land had remained uncultivated due
to the negligence or absence of displaced local landlord. The policy of the
Government was not to leave any cultivable land unsown as far as possible which
was necessary to attain selfsufficiency in the matter of food. If timely action
was not taken a large portion of the population would have to face starvation
after 1950 when it was proposed to stop all imports of food grains from abroad.
The Government had tried its best to persuade the landlords to cultivate the
There was, however, likelihood of large
tracts of fertile and cultivable lands remaining unsown during Rabi 1949-50.
The Bill which was introduced was, therefore,
aimed at bringing about all available land in,the East Punjab under fodder and
The definitions of "land",
"owner" and "tenant' as given in s. 2 are as follows (a)
"Land" means land which is not urban land and is not occupied as the
site of any building in a town or village but does not include land which is
leased by Government or Custodian under any law other than this Act".
(f) "Owner" means a person having a
proprietary right in the land and includes an allottee, a usufructuary
mortgagee or a lessee".
(h) "Tenant" means a person to whom
land is leased by the Collector under the provisions of this Act".
By virtue of s. 3 the Collector could issue a
notice to the owner of any land which had not been cultivated for the specified
period and if he did not find the explanation of the land owner to be
satisfactory he could take possession of the same for the purpose of the Act.
This the Collector could do notwithstanding any law to the contrary. Section 4
provided for payment of Compensation where possession of any land had been
taken under s. 3. Under s. 5 the Collector, after taking possession under s. 3,
could lease out the land to any person on such terms and conditions as he
deemed fit for the purpose of growing fodder and food crops. The Period of
lease could not be less than 7 years or more than 20 years. Section 6 conferred
power on the Collector to determine lease in certain cases. It may be mentioned
that s. 6 was omitted by Punjab Act 11 of 1951 but it was inserted by a later
Act No. 24 of 1957. According to sub-s. (2) where a lease had been determined
by the Collector the lessee was not to be given any compensation.
Section 6 was further amended and substituted
by Haryana Act 35 of 1971. Owing to certain decision of the Punjab &
Haryana High Court it was 1010 provided in sub-s. (1) that the Collector shall
have the power to determine the lease after affording a reasonable opportunity
to the tenant to show cause why his lease should not be determined and the
possession of the land taken.
Sub-sections (3) and (4) were added in these
Sub-s.(3) "The principles embodied in
the various provisions of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, shall not apply
to any proceedings under this Act.
Sub-s.(4) No civil or revenue Court shall
have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceedings in respect of the
determination of lease or eviction of a tenant".
Sections 7 and II are material for our
purposes. They are reproduced below -S. 7(1) "Where any land taken
possession of by the Collector under s. 3 is on the expiry of the lease to be
returned to the owner, the Collector may after making such inquiry, if any, as
he considers necessary, specify by order in writing the person to whom
possession of the land shall be given".
(2) The delivery of possession of land to the
person specified in any order made under sub-s. (1) shall be a full. discharge
of the Collector from all liability in respect of such delivery but shall not
prejudice any rights in respect of the land which any other person may be
entitled by due process of law to enforce against the person to whom possession
of the land is so delivered.
(3) Where the person to whom possession of
any land is to be given cannot be found and has no agent or other person
empowered to accept delivery on his behalf, the Collector shall cause a notice
declaring that the land is released to be affixed on some conspicuous part of
(4) On issue of the notice referred to in
sub-s. (3) the, land specified in the notice shall be deemed to have been
delivered to the person entitled to the possession thereof, and the Government
or the Collector shall not be liable for any compensation or other claim in
respect of the land for any period after the said date".
S. 1 1 "The Collector may take or cause
to be taken such steps and use or cause to be used such force as may in his
opinion be reasonably necessary for securing 1011 compliance with any order
made by him under this Act".
Section 14 provided for appeal and revision
by any person aggrieved by an order passed by the Collector. Section 16
empowered the State Government to make rules for carrying out the provisions of
the Act. The Punjab Utilization of Land Rules 1950 were framed in exercise of
that power but the, Rules dealt only with matters which are not relevant.
By Ordinance No. 8 published in the Haryana
Government Gazette Extraordinary dated September 18, 1970 a new section, s. 14A
was inserted. This section was as follows :"Bar of jurisdiction-No civil
court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceedings in respect
of the eviction of any person to whom land ha-,. been leased under Section
The aforesaid section has been subsequently
omitted by another amendment but it is admitted that during the period under
consideration it was in force.
The main point which was agitated before the
High Court and has been agitated before us on behalf of the appellant is that
even on the expiry of the term of the lease no power has been conferred on the
Collector under s. 7 to order restoration of possession to the owners. It is
submitted that all that s. 7(1) provides is to empower the Collector to make an
inquiry and then specify by an order in writing the persons to whom possession
of the land is to be given.
In other words he can only declare who is to
be treated as owner for the purpose of restoration of possession. He cannot
further order that there should be a restoration of possession either to him or
to the owner. For that purpose resort must be had to the provisions of the
Punjab Tenancy Act 1887 or the general law under which a tenant or a lessee can
be evicted after the term of his lease has come to an end. The procedure which
is prescribed, according to this argument by sub-s. (1) of s. 7, does not
relate to the process by which the eviction of the tenant can be effected There
is no question of any automatic or voluntary ejectment.
Now sub-s. (1) of s. 7 is somewhat unhappily
worded. On a cursory reading of it an impression is created-that it confers a
limited power on the, Collector to make an inquiry and declare who the person
is to whom the possession of the land is to be restored. But this provision
cannot be read in isolation and has to be interpreted in the light of the
purpose and scheme of the Act as also the other relevant provisions. There can
be no manner of doubt that the sole purpose for which the Act was enacted was
to ensure that such lands as were capable of producing 13-L521 Sup. CI/73 1012
food or fodder but which owing to the neglect on the part of the owners were
not being cultivated should be utilised for cultivated cultivation and for
growing food and fodder crops. The condition precedent for applying s. 3 under
which the Collector could take possession was that the land should have
remained uncultivate for the last six or more harvests. The Collector was to
give lease which was to be for a minimum period of 7 years but which could be
upto a maximum period of 20 years. This period was obviously prescribed because
it was considered that the tenant should have enough period for investing
money, putting in hi own effort and derive the maximum benefit by cultivating
the Ian leased to him. That served two purposes; firstly it provided a
incentive to him to work hard and make full use of cultivation of that land so
as to reap as many crops as he could out of it The second purpose was that by
his efforts the land was bound to improve if he was to get benefit out of it.
Normally it would b expected that the tenant would not only spend some money of
his own on the improvement of the land but he might also effect improvements of
a substantial nature, particularly, when the leas was to be for a period of 20
years. He, however, knew before hand that on the expiry of the period of the
lease, which in all the present cases was for 20 years, he would have to
surrender possession to the owner. A printed copy of the lease has bee produced
before us. It is common ground that all the leases in the present cases were on
the same terms as are to be found in this printed lease.
According to clause 7 of the lease the lessee
was enjoined to use the land only for the purpose of sowing food and fodder crops
and for no other purpose. Clause 8 shows that the lessee was tinder an
obligation to reclaim and bring under cultivation 50% of the land leased by a
particular date and the remaining half by another date. Under clause 10 he
could erect buildings, sink wells, install tube wells etc. but it wag made
quite clear that he had no right to claim compensation for the improvements
effected by him nor was he entitled to remove without the previous consent in
writing of the Collector any material equipment or machinery attached by him to
the land. Clause 11 empowered the Collector to determine the lease and take
possession of the land in case of any breach by the lessee of a of the
conditions of the lease. Under clause 8 the lessee was bound on the
determination of the lease by affluent of time or otherwise to peaceably vacate
and give up possession of the land. Clause 15 made the lease subject to the
provisions of the Act as amended from time to time.
Apart from the terms of the lease, s. 6
conferred power on the Collector to determine the lease, even before its
expiration if the lessee committed a breach of any of the term or conditions
thereof. Section 8 provided for levy of a penalty in case 1013 the tenant
failed to grow food or fodder crops on the land leased to him. It is thus clear
that the Collector was empowered to take possession from the owner only after a
maximum period of 20 years for which he could lease it out to a tenant. It was
thus clearly contemplated that on the expiry of that period the Collector would
restore possession to the owner. The Act no-where contemplated that the owner
should be completely deprived of his ownership rights. The compensation to
which he was entitled Linder s. 4 was for the temporary deprivation of the
exercise of ownership rights for the period during which the possession of the
land had been taken over by the Collector and given on lease to a tenant.
Section 7(1) when read in this context clearly shows that it was intended to
empower the Collector to make an order in writing after the expiry of the lease
saying that the possession of the land shall be given to the person named or
specified in the order. The words "to whom possession of the land shall be
given" contained the mandate under. which the Collector derived powers of
directing that the possession of the land was to be given by the tenant to the
owner whose name was specified in the Collector's order.
The compulsory and the summary process by
which that order could be enforced is to be found in s. II. If the tenant did
not comply with the order or direction made under s. 7 the Collector could take
or cause to be taken such steps or use or cause to be used such force as was s.
7(1). Subss. (2), (3) and (4) reinforce the above inter predation of sub-s. ( 1
) of s. 7. Once delivery of possession of the land to the person specified in
the order madeunder sub-s.(1)had been effected the Collector stood discharged
from all liability in respect of such delivery. Sub-ss. (3) and (4) were meant
for a similar purpose when a person to whom possession of land was to be given
could not be found.
We are, therefore, unable to accept the
contention raised on behalf of the appellants that S. 7 read with s. 1 1 of the
Act did not empower the Collector to make an order which would involve the
eviction of the tenant in case he refused to deliver possession to the person
The contention raised that s. 7 of the Act is
violative of Art. 14 of the Constitution because there would be two or more
remedies available to the authorities to which they can resort is wholly
untenable. Section 14-A contained a complete bar to the civil court having any
jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceedings in respect of the eviction of
any person to whom land had been leased out under S. 5 of the Act Sub-s. 4 of
s. 6 as amended also bars the jurisdiction of any civil of revenue. court to
entertain any proceedings, in respect of the determination of lease or eviction
of a tenant. It has been suggested '.that sub-s.
1014 (4) of s. 6 is confined only to a case
where a lease has bee determined by the Collector before its expiry under the
provision of sub-s. (1) of s. 6. Sub-s. (4) is in general terms and we a unable
to see how it can be confined only to a lease determined under sub-s. (1) of
that section. It appears that it was primarily for this reason that s. 14A has
now been deleted as already mentioned.
The next question which has been vehemently
argued whether the provisions of the Tenancy Act are applicable an whether the
eviction could take place only under that Act Reliance has also been placed on
the provisions of the Tenance Act for sustaining the argument that no eviction
could take place of the tenant unless compensation had been awarded him under
the provisions of that Act. "Land" has been defined by the Tenancy
Act by s. 4(1) to mean, land which is not occupied as the site of any building
in town or village and is occupied or has been let for agricultural purposes or
for purposes subservient to agriculture, or for pasture and includes the sites
buildings and other structures on such land. "Tennat" has be defined
by s. 4(5) to mean a person who holds land under other person and is, or but
for a special contract would be, liable to pay Tent for that land to that other
person. Certain categories of persons are not included but we are not concerned
with the Sub-s. (6) defines "Landlord" to mean a person under whom
tenant holds land and to whom he is, or but for a special contract would be,
liable to pay rent for that land. Section 40 gives grounds of ejectment of
tenants for a fixed term and s. 42 places certain restrictions on the ejectment
of the tenant.
He shall be ejected otherwise than in
execution of a decree for ejectment except in cases mentioned in clauses (a)
and (b) of that section Under s. 48 relief against forfeiture can be given in
cases mentioned therein to a tenant.
Chapter VI deals with improvements by
landlords and tenants.
Under s. 64 a tenant not having a right of
occupancy can make improvements on his tenancy with the assent of his landlord.
Where improvements are begun in anticipation of ejectment the tenant cannot
claim any compensation by virtue of s. 66. Under s. 67 if a landlord tenders to
a tenant a lease of his tenancy for a term of not less than 20 years from the date
of the tender at the rent then paid by the tenant at such other rent as may be
agreed on the tender if accepted the tenant the claim to compensation in
respect of improvement previously made on the tenancy stands barred.
Section 68 s that a tenant who has made
improvements on his tenancy shall not be ejected until he has received
compensation for their provident made by him. This is, however, subject to
1015 As has been noticed already, in the Act
the word "tenant" has been defined to mean a person to whom the land
is leased by the Collector under the provisions of the Act. The definition of
"land" is also different from the one given in the Tenancy Act. There
is no definition of landlord at all in the Act. The entire scheme of the Act
establishes that it was intended to be exhaustive for the purpose for which it
was enacted. It is hardly possible to regard a tenant of the Collector under
the Act as falling within the definition of a "tenant" under the
Tenancy Act. The whole purpose of the Act would be defeated if the provisions
of the Tenancy Act were made applicable to it. If that had been intended there
was nothing to stop the legislature from making a provision in the Act itself
about the applicability of the Tenancy Act. The High Court appears to be right
in coming to the conclusion that from the provisions of the Act no intention
can be attributed to the legislature of creating a relationship of landlord and
tenant between 'the Collector and the tenant as defined by the Act of the same nature
as was provided for by the Tenancy Act.
Once the above conclusion is reached the
argument based on the provisions of the Tenancy Act with regard to compensation
for improvements is bound to fail. As regards the general submission that a
person cannot be deprived of his property without payment of compensation it
must be remembered that no provision has been made for payment of any
compensation ';or such improvements. The tenants, namely, the appellants had
agreed to the term in the lease by which they were bound that they would not
claim any compensation for the improvements made by them eluding the currency
of the lease. Moreover when the tenant knew that the lease was for as long a
period as 20 years, improvements must have been made with the full knowledge
that on the expiry of that period possession would have to be surrendered. The
tenants had also reaped all the advantage that they could by having a lease for
such a long period.
It is true that in the Act itself s. 4
provides for payment of compensation to onwards and s. 6 contains a specific
clause that where a lease has been determined by the Collector the lessee shall
not be entitled to any compensation. Section 7 does not contain ,in,, such
provision. It is significant that although where the legislature in-tended to
provide for compensation it did so and where it did ,not intend to. do so it
was clearly provided that the tenant shall ,not be entitled to any
compensation. Section 7 is silent on the question of compensation. The
legislature being fully alive to the matter of compensation it would be
legitimate to assume that it did not intend to make any provision when
possession was to be handed over by the tenant to the original owner pursuant
to 1016 an order made under s. 7. The reason apparently for not making any
provision for compensation one way or the other was that it IN as clearly
contemplated that the tenant would have to give up possession on the expiry of
the term of the lease which was for a long period and during which he was expected,
as has been observed before, to derive, the maximum benefit by means of
cultivation of food and food grain crops. Since the provisions of the Tenancy
Act have been, held to beinapplicable to the tenant as defined by the Act we
are unable toehold that he was entitled to any compensation before giving
possession in compliance with the order made under s. 7 of the Act.
Before the High Court it had beenurged on
behalf of the appellants that they could be ejectedonly in accordance with the
provisions of the Punjab Security of Land Tenures Act 1953. The High Court held
that owing to s. 21(1) nothing contained in that Act shall affect any land held
by a tenant or lessee under the Government. Mr. Dutta who represented some of
the appellant-, before us did not press any argument relating to the
applicability of the provisions of the Land Tenures Act to the case of the
appellants. At any rate, and this position has been rightly conceded by the
counsel for the respondents, the appellants cannot be debarred from taking
benefit of or seeking protection under any enactment if they can establish that
they are governed by its provisions.
Dr. Singhvi who argued Civil Appeal No.
825/72 has raised some other points in addition to those already disposed of
According to him after the Registrar of Cooperative Societies had settled the
dispute between the Kamal Society and the Lyallpur Society the latter took no
interest in 175 acres of land situate in village Pehowa which had been allotted
to it and which were brought under cultivation by the appellants Dasuadha Singh
and others. This. it is said, was done with the tacit approval of the
Collector. It is, however, admitted that the lease was in favour of the
aforesaid societies and the allegation that the appellants brought this land
under cultivation with the tacit approval of the Collector contained in para 5
of the writ petition was denied in the written statement filed on behalf of the
respondents. In the Jamabandi entries of 1963-64 the entry was as follows
"The Collector, Karnal, Lessor, Karnal Cooperative Farmers, Karnal,
Lyallpur Cooperative Farmers, Karnal in equal shares, lessees. Cultivation
Lyallpur Cooperative Farmers, Karnal, through Dasaudha Singh ................
It is difficult to understand how the
Jamabandi entry helps the appellants at all. It seems to indicate that the
persons who were 1017 shown as tenants at-will were cultivating it under the
societies which were the lessees. They could not, therefore, claim any better
rights than the societies which were the tenants of the Collector and amenable
to his jurisdiction under the Act. It may be mentioned that in the High Court
this point does not appear to have been argued and we do not have the benefit
of any finding of that court on that point. It has, further, been submitted on
behalf of the appellants that before any orders were made under s. 7 of the Act
the tenants or the persons in occupation of the lands in question should have
been given an opportunity of being heard to satisfy the well settled rule of
natural justice. Under s. 7 the Collector has to decide and name the owners to
whom possession shall be given. The tenant can have no locus standi in that
matter in which if there are any rival claimants they alone would be
interested. The scheme of s. 7 is such that it is not possible to read into it
any requirement of a notice being issued to the tenants before any order is
made by the Collector under that section.
Before the High Court only in one case i.e.
C.W. 2171/71 it was pointed out that the petitioners therein had purchased 6
acres, of from the original land owner and as such the Collector could not
legally dispossess them from that portion of the land. The Additional Advocate
General conceded that in case that area had been purchased by the petitioners
in that writ petition they would not be dispossessed and the possession would
be restored to them if dispossession had taken place. On behalf of a number of
appellants it has been contended that several portions of lands in dispute have
been purchased from the original owners and the purchasers are actually in
possession. It is not disputed by the counsel for the respondents that if any
person has acquired the ownership rights in any of the lands which were the
subject matter of the writ petition he can approach the Collector who will
consider his case fully and if it is proved that he has become an owner then
his possession will not be disturbed and no orders will be made with regard to
the area in his occupation or possession under s. 7. This will fully safeguard
the interest of those persons who have acquired ownership rights either before
or during the pendency of the proceedings in the High Court% or even in this
1018 Lastly we cannot help observing that the
appellants will be put to a good deal of hardship by being asked to give up all
lands which they had been cultivating for so many years and which probably are
the main source of their livelihood. But that hardship could be alleviated or
some relief given by legislation alone. The court is unable to do anything in
In the result the appeals fail and they are
dismissed but there will be no order as to costs.
S.C. Appeals dismissed.