Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: A Division Bench of Surya Kant, CJ. and Sandeep Sharma, J. addressed grievances raised by the petitioners and directed the authority to take necessary action.

The instant matter relates to an order passed by the Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) Gohar, whereby it had turned down the claim of the Petitioners for conferment of ownership rights and protection over a small piece of forest land on the grounds of the claim being barred by time limit prescribed under Rule 11(1) (a) of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2007 (hereinafter ‘2007 Rules’).

The learned counsel representing the petitioners, Mr Rajnish Maniktala and Mr Naresh K. Verma, stated that there is no prescribed time limit for Gram Sabha to invite claims or authorize the Forest Rights Committee to accept the claims. They contended that the Gram Sabha had invited claims and the petitioners had submitted its claim within the time limit and thus, the Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) erred in rejecting the claim of the petitioners being time-barred. The petitioners also contended that the Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) did not have the authority to decide the matter but the competent prescribed authority to process the claim was Sub Divisional Committee and the final deciding authority being District Level Committee.

The Court held that the competent authority to process the claim of petitioners was the Sub Divisional Committee, and the final deciding authority was the District Level Committee. In view thereof, it directed the said Committee to complete the process within a period of two months and submit the report to the District Level Committee within the stipulated period of time. The Court also stated that as long as the matter is not finally decided by the District Level Committee, the possession shall remain with the petitioners.[Bhama Devi v. State of H.P., 2019 SCC OnLine HP 616, decided on 14-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Gurvinder Singh Gill, J., dismissed a revision petition filed assailing the order of the Appellate Authority which in turn upheld the order of Rent Controller, Ludhiana, whereby the petitioner was ejected from the property in question.

The respondent filed an ejectment petition before the Rent Controller on the grounds that the petitioner-tenant had defaulted in paying the rent since June 2008. The petitioner contended that the respondent was not the landlord as he had taken the premises on rent from one Narinder Singh. The Rent Controller found that a relationship between tenant and landlord existed between the parties. And since the petitioner defaulted in paying the rent, petitioner was ordered to be ejected from the property concerned. The Appellate Authority confirmed the findings and upheld the order passed by the Rent Controller. Feeling aggrieved, the petitioner approached the High Court.

The High Court perused the record and found that the abovementioned Narinder Singh, in his examination, had stated that he had sold the property concerned to the petitioner. A power of attorney and a Will was also executed in favor of the petitioner. The Court did not find any registered sale deed proving the factum of sale; however, the abovesaid documents showed that there was some arrangement between the petitioner and Narinder Singh whereby the petitioner exercised the rights of the landlord. The Court held the law to be well settled that a person can be a landlord even without having ownership rights in the property. The High Court did not find any infirmity in the impugned order and the revision petition was thereby dismissed. [Ashok Kumar v. Piara Singh, 2018 SCC OnLine P&H 733, dated 29-05-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

High Court of Jammu And Kashmir: While deciding upon the present writ petition wherein the petitioners have prayed that the respondents be asked to not cause any sort of interference into their land and should be desisted on that ground, the Single Bench of M.K Hanjura, J. dismissed the petition and held that the attached annexure by the petitioners spells out that the land in question is State land and is in the illegal occupation of the petitioners.

As per the facts, the petitioners are the owners in possession of the land situated at Village Zainakote, Srinagar along with a chunk of the State land “Khalisa Sarkar” is also in their possession for the last 23 years, which further has vested in them under the “Roshni Act” subsequently applying for vesting of ownership rights before the respondents. The petitioners state that they are being asked to vacate the land without being granted any compensation in return for which they are liable.

The High Court perused the records and found favour with submissions of Respondent 2 Chief Engineer, PWD who stated that no land has been acquired by his office for any purpose which leads to no question of payment of compensation to the petitioners. Respondents 3 and 4 stated that the compensation amount in lieu of the land acquired for the purpose of widening of National Highway was released in favour of the State. As per the revenue extracts obtained in respect of the said land, petitioners do not have any proprietary right over the said land and in compliance to the revenue records the said land has been shown to be in the occupation of the department of public work.

Therefore, the petition was found to be on no merits and deserved to be dismissed as Annexure (p1) attached to the petition is an extract of Girdawari relating to the land on which the petitioners lay their claim, and the said annexure states that petitioners are in illegal occupation of the land and for which they cannot seek any compensation. [Syed Manzoor Ahmad v. State, 2018 SCC OnLine J&K 256, dated 23-04-2018]