In the wake of the recent scams being unearthed pertaining to transfer of gram panchayat land to private developers and builders in Gurgaon and other parts of Haryana,any such transfers of panchayat land under Consolidation Act has been completely banned across the state.
On September 14,two orders were issued in this regard by Director General (Consolidation of Holdings) Dr Ashok Khemka. In the first order,all divisional commissioners,deputy commissioners-cum-assistant directors,district revenue officers-cum-settlement officers were asked not to entertain any disputes with regard to title of gram panchayat under the consolidation Act. In the second order,all deputy commissioners-cum-registrars and sub-registrars were issued orders not to register any document pertaining to transfer of immovable property of gram panchayat,unless the same is approved by the panchayats department.
Citing two Supreme Court judgments,in the first order,Khemka wrote: Wherever any dispute at any stage of proceedings with regard to title of gram panchayat land arises,the aggrieved party may be advised to approach the appropriate authority under the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act-1961 for redressal.
The order added: The authorities,exercising powers under the East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act-1948,have no jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the dispute of title related to gram panchayat land. If any such order is passed,the same would be without jurisdiction and would be treated as non-est.
Citing the same SC judgments,for the second order,Khemka wrote,No document involving any kind of transfer of immovable property of gram panchayat will be registered in the registering offices of Haryana,unless the same is approved by the panchayats department,as per the provisions of the Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation) Act-1961.
Khemka,while acting as the director general (Consolidation) had indicated that there was a possibility of involvement of higher-ups in the scam pertaining to transfer of prime chunks of gram panchayat land by the bureaucrats in favour of the builders and colonisers.
Based on Khemkas reply to the Punjab and Haryana High Court,in the then pending cases related to 20 such cases of transfers,the court not only quashed all such orders passed by Haryana cadre IAS officers Anil Kumar and S C Goel but also described their acts as playing a mammoth fraud upon the law.