Gram panchayat is rightful owner of Gwal Pahari land, says courthttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/gurgaon-gram-panchayat-is-rightful-owner-of-gwal-pahari-land-says-court/

Gram panchayat is rightful owner of Gwal Pahari land, says court

The decision comes in the wake of an order passed by a civil court earlier this year, which had given this right to private owners, who had contradicted the MCG’s claim to the land.

A District and Sessions court in Gurgaon Wednesday partially allowed 226 appeals filed by the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) and the district collector regarding 464 acres of land at Gwal Pahari, and recognised the gram panchayat to be the rightful owner of the land.

The decision comes in the wake of an order passed by a civil court earlier this year, which had given this right to private owners, who had contradicted the MCG’s claim to the land.

The MCG said, “On April 16 this year, the Court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Prashant Rana had ordered that ownership of the 464 acres land will rest with private owners. The corporation had filed an appeal against the order in the Sessions Court Gurugram… and the appellate court… has set aside the order of the lower court.”

Additional District Judge Jasbir Singh Kundu, in his order, directed, “the appellants have to first make payment of compensation to the then ‘Jumla Malkaan’/’Biswedar’/’Proprietors’ of village Gwal Pahari whose name is mentioned in the revenue records as on 05.11.2980… if MCG wants to retain the suit land under its ownership.”

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The order also said that “status quo” be maintained regarding the land, since the judgment “is subject to appeal before the HC.

“In other words, the land compensation will go to the natives of the village Gwal Pahari and not to third parties who have gone purchasing suit land subsequently…,” states the order.

The court has also directed the divisional commissioner look into the “entire episode” and submit a fact-finding report “within three months” about the role of “local machinery”. It added that during the task, he should also “take into purview all identically located vulnerable pieces of panchayat land/common land/gair mumkin land” to ensure “local administration could be sensitised in time… and valuable court time could be saved by taking timely remedial action through the responsible revenue authorities wherever required”.

The order, however, also directed that “status quo” be maintained regarding the land, since the judgment “is subject to appeal before Hon’ble High Court”.