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Posted at: Dec 7, 2018, 12:51 AM; last updated: Dec 7, 2018, 12:51 AM (IST)

Delay in filing affidavit: HC summons Addl Chief Secy

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 6

Nearly four months after Haryana Additional Chief Secretary and Financial Commissioner, Revenue and Disaster Management Department, was asked to file an affidavit stating total evacuee property as on January 1, 2001, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has summoned the officer.

He has been asked to explain the delay in filing the affidavit.

As a petition filed by Usha Gupta came up for hearing before Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain and Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal, Haryana counsel prayed for an adjournment as the affidavit was not ready. “The order to file affidavit was passed by this court on August 1 and thereafter about three months have passed,” the Bench added.

The Bench had earlier found fault with Haryana Evacuee Properties (Management and Disposal) Rules before asserting that public property could not be permitted to be grabbed by the unauthorised occupants in collusion with the State functionaries at throwaway prices.

The Bench had asserted that it could not comprehend the manner in which Rule 8 (5) of the Rules had been drafted. Rule 8 (5) provides that a chunk not exceeding 2 acres without approach, which could not be disposed of in any other manner, “shall” be transferred to a person whose land surrounds it at the market price although it may not be in his possession.

The Bench asserted that the country got independence in 1947 and consolidation was carried out after that. “Apparently, we do not find any justification that any evacuee property may be left without any passage even after consolidation,” the Bench asserted.

Referring to Rule 3 (1) providing for the allotment of land to any person in cultivating possession, the Bench added Rule 8 (5) was contrary to it as it provided for allotment even to a person not in the land’s possession.

The Bench asserted petitioners produced orders where land was allotted, and not disposed of by way of public auction, even after recording that area in their possession was adjoining road.

“The conduct of the authorities needs to be examined as the public property cannot be allowed to be usurped by the illegal occupants in connivance with the State officers at a throwaway price as ultimately it is the State which suffers on account of connivance of a few people,” the Bench asserted.

The Bench also asked the officer to specify the area allotted to the persons under Rule 8 (5) and specify how evacuee property remained without passage in the process of consolidation. He was asked to specify steps to retrieve possession. Details were also called for of cases where land was not disposed of through public auction even though it was on road or surrounded by the land of different owners.


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