Section 9 – The Punjab Land Reforms Act,1972

The Punjab Land Reforms Act,1972

Section 9. Power to take possession of surplus area

(1) The Collector may, by an order in writing after an area has become surplus under the Punjab Law or the Pepsu Law or becomes surplus under this Act, direct the landowner or tenant or any other person in possession of such area to deliver possession thereof, within ten days of the service of the order on him, to such person as may be specified in the order.

(2) If the landowner or tenant or any other person in possession of such area refuses or fails without reasonable cause to comply wit the order made under sub-section (1), the Collector may take possession of that area and may, for that purpose use such force as may be necessary.

COMMENTS

Notice ““ As the petitioner had purchased 32 Kanals out of the entire holding Mool Chand, they received a notice dated October 28,1975 under Section 9(1) of the Punjab Land Reforms Act,1972 for delivering the possession of the surplus area. Without determining the surplus area afresh in accordance with the judgement of this Court in CWP No.3211 of 1969, the writ petitioners could not be asked to deliver possession. They could only be asked to deliver possession in case it is found that the area since Mool Chand has died, it would have to be seen whether there is any surplus area in the hands of the heirs of Mool Chand. Roop Singh vs. State of Punjab,1991 PLJ 560

Applicability of provisions — If the provisions of Section 14 of the Reforms Act were intended not to apply to the surplus area determined and finalized under the Punjab Act and this provision was only intended for the purpose of declaration of permissible area as contemplated by section 4, 5 and 6 of this Act, the said provision could not have been placed in Chapter II of the Act, the said provision could not have been placed in Chapter II of the Act. A separate provision beyond Chapter II of the Act would have been made. This section again would not have started with a non obstante clause. This leads me to a conclusion that Section 14 which is a part of Chapter II of the Reforms Act applies to a case of the present nature, and if the petitioner is able to establish the conditions imposed by the said section he is entitled to the relief but if otherwise all or any of the conditions are not satisfied, the order declaring the surplus area of the petitioners land under the Punjab Act would stand and the authorities would be well justified in seeking possession thereof in terms of Section 8 and 9 of the Punjab Act. Mahant Sewa Dass Chela Mahant Rattan dass vs. State of Punjab,1992(2) Rev.LR 562

It is not the case of the State that land in the hands of the petitioner or other heirs of Inder Singh is also surplus. Be that as it may, the earlier order of the Collector cannot be given any effect and the authorities under the Punjab Land Reforms Act can at the most calculate the land of each of the successors of Inder Singh and if any of them has land, in excess of the permissible area under the Punjab Land Reforms Act, the same may be declared as surplus, Albel Singh vs. State of Punjab,1992(2) CLJ 360

Proceedings under Section 9— Are in the nature of execution proceedings after the surplus area has been determined under Section 5 of the Act. As far as the petitioner is concerned, his surplus area was originally declared in 1976 and it was on remanded by the Commissioner that the surplus area was re-assessed in 1980 and the surplus area of the appellant was deduced from 0.5235 to 0.2813 hectares of first quality land. The appellant having been present in all these proceedings there orders were very much in his knowledge. After he failed to prefer an appeal/revision against the orders determining the surplus area within the limitation prescribed under the Act, the petitioners have forefeited the ri ght to challenge the same which operate as res judicata between the petitioners and the State Government. Puro Bai etc. vs. State,1989 PLJ 46

Notice –The process-server has himself recorded that the petitioners were away. As they were away he pasted the notice on the doors of their residence and had a proclamation made through the Chowkidar. This is not proper service. Further effort should have been made to serve notice on the petitioners personally and failing that on an adult member of the family. This summary resort to proclamation was not at all appropriate. Pirthi Raj etc. vs. state of Punjab,1988 PLJ 391

Possession ““ The surplus area declared was not utilised before the death of the landowner nor its possession was taken by the State Government. Even if possession had been taken by the State Government before the death of the landowner in whose hand the area was declared surplus by virtue of section 8 of the 1972 Act, the land would have vested in the State Government free from all encumbrances from the date of taking possession. Since even possession was not taken before the date of death the taking of possession on 28.3.1983 as also the order of allotment dated 30.3.1983 are without jurisdiction and were rightly set at naught by the learned Financial Commissioner. Karnail Singh vs. State of Punjab and others,1989 PLJ 95

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