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Section 11 – The Punjab Land Reforms Act,1972

The Punjab Land Reforms Act,1972

Section 11. Disposal of surplus area

(1) The surplus area, which has vested in the State Government under section 8, shall be at the disposal of the State Government.

(2) The State Government may, by notification in the official Gazette frame a scheme for utilizing the surplus area under the Punjab law, the Pepsu law or this Act by ”

(a) conferment of rights of ownership or tenants in respect of such land as is comprised in the surplus area of the landowner of such a tenant; and

(b)allotment to tenants, members of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes of the landless agricultural workers, of an area not exceeding two hectares of the first quality land or equivalent area, provided that the total area held or owned by any such allottee after the allotment, shall not exceed two hectares of the first land or equivalent area.

(3) Any scheme framed by the State Government under sub-section (2) may provide for the terms and conditions on which the rights of ownership are to be conferred on the tenants and also the terms and conditions on which the land comprised in the surpkus area is to be allotted.

(4) The State Government may, by notification in the official Gazette add to, amend, vary or revoke any scheme made under this section.

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force and save in the case of land acquired by the State Government under any law for the time being in force or by an heir by inheritance, no transfer or other disposition of land which is comprised in the surplus area under the Punjab law, the Pepsu law or this Act, shall affect the vesting thereof in the State Government or its utilization under this Act.

(6) The utilization of any surplus area before the commencement of this Act will not affect the right of the tenant to purchase land in accordance with the provisions of section 15 of the right of the landowner to receive rent from the tenant settled on the surplus area till the tenant becomes the owner thereof.

(7) Where succession has opened after the surplus area or any part thereof has been determined by the Collector, the saving specified in favour of an heir by inheritance under sub-section (5) shall not apply in respect of the area so determined.

COMMENTS

Re-determination of area ” In the light of this authoritative pronouncement it appears wholly unnecessary to examine the matter any further and it can safely be ruled that after the death of a landowner in whose hands some area has been found to be surplus under the provisions of the Act and remained un-utilised till the date of his death or the enforcement of Land Reforms Act (No.10 of 1973) it has to be re-determined in the hands of his heirs. This re-determination has to be made not only when the land of the deceased landowner has actually been inherited by his natural heirs by way of succession but also on the notional basis that it has been so inherited. Further, in the instant case the State authorities cannot have in both ways, i.e., to ignore the decree Annexure P-2 in the light of section 10-A© during the life time of Kesar Singh and give effect to it after his death. This decree having been ignored in the light of the above-noted provision, had continued to be ignored while assessing the permissible limits of the heirs of Kesar Singh. On account of his death, the order of the Collector dated December 19,1960 determining his permissible limit had become inoperative as opined in Sarmukh Singh case (supra) and his land had ceased to be his holding as ruled in Smt. Ajit Kaurs case (supra). Therefore, any land declared as surplus with Kesar Singh vide order dated December 19,1960 could neither be treated as his land while in the hands of the petitioner nor can it be s
o taken awa
y by the State authorities for purposes of utilisation under the Act. Piar Kaur vs. State of Punjab,1989 PLJ 503

It has come on the record that Inder Singh dies on the 26th November,1983 and as the surplus area declared under the old Act had neither vested in the Government nor had it been utilized by it, the area was required to be re-assessed in the hands of the legal heirs of Inder Singh, in view of the ruling reported in 1980 PLJ 354, which would lead to the identical result of the area going out of the surplus pool. Gurdev Singh and others vs. State of Punjab and another,1988 PLJ 317

The plaintiff not the suit property through a Will and, therefore, the plaintiffs are not entitled to the benefit of Section 10-A(b) of the Punjab Security of Land Tenures Act. The said benefit can only be made available if the land is acquired by the State Government under any law for the time being in force or by an heir by inheritance. Disposition of property by Will is no sense can be termed as inheritance. Merely because landowner died was of no consequences as regards the rights of the State to utilize the surplus area. State of Punjab vs. Gurcharan Singh and others,1991 PLJ 421

The surplus area case of respondent No.2, big landowner was finalized on 26.5.1977 and at that time, the petitioners were not tenants on the land. The petitioners came on the land only in year 1984 i.e. after 5 years of its having been declared surplus which shows connivance of the big landowner beyond doubt . By referring to 1983 PLJ 23 and 1985 PLJ 226, the petitioners cannot equate themselves with the petitioner(s) in those cases. Since the present petitioners were neither tenants on the appointed day nor was the land under their tenancy on 26.5.1977, when it was declared surplus in the case of respondent No.2, their claims were rightly rejected by the Collector. Jagdish vs, State and another,1991 PLJ 792

After the finality of the case an attempt has been made to re-open the case due to the death of Guru Mahant Rattan Dass. This is not a case of inheritance as the Chela i.e. the present petitioner has stepped into the shoes of his Guru and he cannot have better title than Guru. The land declared surplus in the hands of Guru will remain surplus in the hands of Chela after the death of Guru because it is not a case of natural inheritance. The second plea taken by the Land Reforms Act exemption should have been granted. As the case already been decided under the Punjab Security of Land Tenures Act,1953 under which no exemption was provided to the religious and charitable institution and it has not been prved on record that the institution is religious and charitable one, so the plea for granting exemption is not tenable and has no force. Mahant Sewa Dass Chela Mahant Rattan Dass vs. The State,1991 PLJ 710

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