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Section 3 – The Punjab Land Reforms Act,1972

The Punjab Land Reforms Act,1972

Section 3. Definitions

In this Act unless the context otherwise requires

(1) “appointed day” means the twenty-fourth day of January,1971;

(2) “banjar land” means land which has remained uncultivated for a continuous period of not less than four years immediately preceding the date on which the question whether such land is banjar or not arises;

(3) “Collector” means the Collector of the district or any other officer not below the rank of Assistant Collector of the first grade empowered in this behalf by the State Government;

(4) “family” in relation to a person means the person, the wife or husband, as the case may be, of such person and his or her minor children other than a married minor daughter;

(5) “land” means land which is not occupied as the site of any building in a town or village and is occupied or has been let for agricultural purposes or for purposes sub-servient to agriculture, or for pasture, and includes:-

(a) the sites of buildings, and other structures on such land; and

(b) banjar land;

(6) “landowner” shall have the meaning assigned to it in Punjab Land Revenue Act,1887, (Punjab Act XVII of 1887);

(7) “minor” means a person who has not completed the age of eighteen years;

(8) “orchard” means a compact area of land having fruit bearing trees grown there- on in such number that they preclude, or when fully grown would preclude, a substantial part of such land from being used for any other agricultural purpose but shall not include under banana or guava trees or land comprised in vineyard;

(9) “Pepsu Law” means the Pepsu Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act,1955

(10) “person” includes a company, family association or other body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, and any institution capable of holding property;

(11) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(12) “Punjab Law” means the Punjab Security of Land Tenures Act,1953;

[(13) “self-cultivation” means cultivation by a landowner either personally or through any member of his family or through his brother, or through a servant or hired labour under the personal supervision of the landowner or supervision of a member of his family, subject to the condition that the servant or hired labour is paid wages in cash or in kind or partly in cash and party in kind but not as a share of the produce;]

(14) [—-]

(15) ” surplus area” means the area in excess of the permissible area;

(16) “tenant” has the meaning assigned to it in the Punjab Tenacy Act,1887 (Act XVI of 1887) and includes a sub-tenant and self-cultivating lessee, but shall not include a present holder as defined in clause (f) of section 2 of the East Punjab Displaced Persons (Land Resettlement) Act,1949;

(17) all other words and expressions used herein and not defined but defined in the Punjab Tenancy Act,1887 (Punjab Act XVI of 1887), or the Punjab Land Revenue Act,1887 (Punjab Act XVII of 1887) shall have the meaning assigned to them in either of those Acts.

COMMENTS

Tenant on appointed day ” if the petitioner was a tenant on the appointed day and had continued to be a tenant continuously it would be manifestly unfair to deprive him of tenants permissible area merely because he subsequently purchased a part of the tenancy. Whether he in fact was entitled to tenants permissible area, is a matter to be examined by the Collector. Raja Ram vs. State of Punjab,1992 LLT 26 (F.C. Punjab)

Definition of landowner: – It is admitted case of the petitioner that he is in possession of the land of Smt. Angoori Devi and that litigation is pending is pending in civil Court. The claim of the
petitioner on the basis of a Will of Jai Singh, original owner, stands negatived by the Civil Court and now the matter is stated to be pending in the High Court in appeal. If the appeal is decided in favour of the petitioner he would be owner of the land and, thus, a landowner. That being the position, this piece of land could be included for determination of the surplus area as belonging to the petitioner. Even if he fails in the civil suit, his case is covered in the definition of land owner as reproduced above. He is in possession of the land and enjoying its profits. The authorities were, thus, justified, though on different grounds, in including this piece of land in the area of the petitioner for determination of the surplus area in his hand. Shri Jasmer Singh Bhatti Vs Punjab State and others,1989 PLJ 288.

Tenants on the appointed day — The Senior State Counsel, on the other hand, advanced the same arguments as have been set forth in the impugned order of the Commissioner that Smt. Kaushalya Devi being a real sister of big landowner, is residing with them and, therefore, she is not entitled to tenants permissible area. So far as Ramesh Kumar and Raj Kumar Petitioners No. 2 and 3 are concerned, they have been shown as tenants on the appointed day under the order f Civil Court and such an order is to be ignored in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Act. Kaushalaya Devi vs State of Punjab,1992 LLT 36 (F.C. Punjab).

The stand of respondent no. 1 is that the contents of sub-para (iv) are not admitted as the case was decided on merits by the lower Court after giving full weightage to the evidence produced by the petitioners. Respondent No. 2 has also given an evasive reply and has stated that there were no other tenants on the land of the petitioners on the appointed day, except Net Ram, who had been allowed his tenants permissible area. It is, therefore, apparent to me that this aspect of the matter has not been adequately dealt with the authorities and the assertions made in the writ petition have not been emphatically denied. I am, therefore, of the view that as far as determination of the tenants permissible area is concerned, the matter needs to be gone into once again. The petition is allowed on the limited ground mentioned above, and the orders Annexures P-2 and P-4 are accordingly quashed. A directions is issued to the Collector having jurisdiction in the matter to re-determine the tenants permissible area and thereafter re-assess the surplus area in the hands of the landowner. Sahi Ram vs State of Punjab through Collector, Ferozepure,1992 (1) SLJ 928

Declaring the land surplus While declaring the land surplus in his hand the land prossessed by him which was owned by Smt. Angur Devi was also taken into consideration. It has been held by the Court that Smt. Anguri Devi ws the sole owner of the suit land, the same could not be taken into consideration while declaring the land surplus in the hands of Jasmer Singh. He further submitted that the said land was also considered while declaring surplus area in the hands of Smt. Anguri Devi as well. Learned Singh Judge has discussed the entire matter in detail. The definition of `landowner as given in Punjab Land Reforms Act is the same as defined in Section 3(2) of the Punjab Land Revenue Act. Jasmer Singh vs. State of Punjab and others,1990 PLJ 595

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