Verification of Evacuee Property by District Verification Committee

Verification of Evacuee Property by District Verification Committee Case Laws Civil Law Evacuee Property Evacuee Property District Verification Committee Knowledge - Civil Law Lahore High Court Litigation & Arbitration Solutions - Civil Law Mr. Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan in his judgment has decided the issue regarding verification of evacuee property by district verification committee in Regular First Appeal No. 183 of 2014.

1. Through this appeal appellants, who are defendants in a suit for declaration, cancellation of documents, possession, permanent & mandatory injunction filed by the respondents-plaintiffs, have challenged the judgment & decree dated 23.5.2012 rectified on 13.6.2014 whereby the suit has been decreed.

2. Brief facts of the case are that plaintiffs-respondents on 18.07.2002 filed a suit for declaration, cancellation of documents, possession, permanent & mandatory injunction on the ground that they have Transfer Order No. 26463 dated 28.6.1976 in favour of their predecessor and challenged the Transfer Order No. 15108 dated 29.12.1973 in favour of Mst. Iqbal Begum, the grandmother of the parties. Written statement was filed. Suit was contested on the ground that on the basis of forged and fictitious transfer order the suit has been filed and the transfer order in favour of Mst. Iqbal Begum which has been challenged and for the cancellation of which prayer has been made, is a valid document. Learned trial court framed the issues, invited the parties to produce their respective evidence. Both the parties produced their oral as well as documentary evidence. Learned trial court decreed the suit vide judgment & decree dated 23.5.2012 on the basis of findings recorded on Issues Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 6. Hence, this first appeal.

3. Learned counsel for the appellants argues that the Transfer Order No. 26463 (Exh.P.5) allegedly issued on 28.6.1976 prima-facie seems to be a forged and fictitious document as allegedly the same has been issued by the Deputy Settlement Commissioner. States that as at the time of alleged issuance of the said Transfer Order, the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1958 was repealed through the promulgation of the Evacuee Property and Displaced Persons Laws (Repeal) Act, 1975 (XIV of 1975) since 28th January, 1975 and according to Sub Section (2) of Section 1 it was to take effect on the 1st day of July, 1974, therefore, states that under the repealing Act the powers were to be used by Board of Revenue and further states that the Deputy Settlement Commissioner who issued the Transfer Order in favour of predecessor of the appellants-defendants on 29.12.1973 has been shown to have issued the transfer order (Exh.P.5) in favour of predecessor of plaintiffs. Further that the possession of the appellants-defendants has been admitted upon the suit property and they are in possession since the time of their predecessor. Further states that now under the policy a District Verification Committee has been constituted who has verified the transfer order in favour of Mst. Iqbal Begum to be a valid and true document. Further that the witness produced by the plaintiffs themselves as PW-4 has shattered their case rather he has proved the valid transfer order i.e. Exh.P.6/Exh.D.1. States that if any transfer order is to be cancelled that prerogative is with the department to move for the same, any third person has no right asking the Court to cancel the valid transfer order issued by the department. Relies on “Faizuddin Ahmad versus Muhammad Yousaf and another” (1988 SCMR 1289). Further while referring the statement of PW-2 and the document produced by the said witness that matter of arbitration shows that in the year 1971 the proceeding with regard to allotment of the plot in question and other property total measuring 14 marlas 6 sirsahi from Khasra No. 438 was under process and same is the position in the reference of Arbitrator (Exh.P.1) and Award of Arbitration (Exh.P2) by the plaintiffs-respondents. Prays for acceptance of appeal and setting side the judgment and decree passed by the learned trial court in favour of the plaintiffs-respondents.

4. On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondents argues that Mst. Iqbal Begum passed away in the year 1967, therefore, transfer order in favour of dead person was not possible. The case of learned counsel for the respondents-plaintiffs is that the matter with regard to allotment of land in favour of Mst. Iqbal Begum in the year 1961 ended in the year 1963 and therefore issuance of alleged transfer order in favour of Mst. Iqbal Begum in the year 1973 is forged and fictitious one. He has referred the documentary evidence produced by plaintiffs-respondents to state that the case pleaded by the plaintiffs has been fully proved, therefore, there is no defect in the judgment & decree passed by the learned trial court. Prays for dismissal of the appeal.

5. We have heard learned counsel for the parties at full length, gone through the oral as well as documentary evidence produced by both the parties minutely with the able assistance of learned counsel for the parties and the findings recorded by the learned trial court.

6. Plaintiffs-respondents came to the Court with filing a suit for possession and permanent injunction initially on 18.7.2002 and subsequently the plaint was amended and it was for declaration, cancellation of document, possession, permanent and mandatory injunction claiming that they be declared owner on the basis of Transfer Order No. 26463 dated 28.6.1976 (Exh.P5) and transfer order in favour of Mst. Iqbal Begum Exh.P.6/Exh.D.1 for land measuring 14 marlas and 6 sirsahi be cancelled. We have gone through the findings recorded by the learned trial court on Issue No. 6 whereby it is held that transfer order in favour of Mst. Iqbal Begum Exh.D.1 has not been issued in accordance with the requisite procedure and same has been issued in favour of dead person, therefore, issue has been decided against the appellants-defendants. We are unable to agree with the learned trial court as the documentary evidence produced by the appellants-defendants as Exh.DA, consists upon 16 pages (as mentioned in the statement of learned counsel for the defendants recorded on 5.5.2012), fully shows the application moved by Mst. Iqbal Begum in the year 1961 and departmental proceedings upon that application as well as the payment of compensation from the compensation book and the deed of association and settlement. Further the document transfer order Exh.D.1/Exh.P.6 has been verified by the District Verification Committee that this document is in accordance with the record, therefore, the learned trial court was having no jurisdiction to cancel that document only on the basis that there are some procedural deviations committed by the department while issuing the same.

We note that said deviations noted by the learned trial court are actually not the deviations as the application for transfer was moved by Mst. Iqbal Begum, even if, she passed away during the pendency of the process of transfer of the property in her favour, the transfer in her favour cannot be declared to be null and void as after her death her legal heirs are entitled to inherit the same in accordance with law. It is admitted between the parties that Khasra No. 438 consists upon about 20 kanals of land. The argument of learned counsel for the respondents that the matter of transfer in favour of Mst. Iqbal Begum ended in the year 1963, is not borne out from the record that even the arbitration proceedings which have been produced as Exh.P.1 and Exh.P.2 show that transfer in favour of Mst. Iqbal Begum was under process at that time even in the year 1971. Learned counsel for the respondents wants to take benefit of this fact interpreting in favour of the plaintiffs-respondents that subsequently this process of transfer and allotment was not completed whereas the argument of learned counsel for the appellants-defendants that even if the arguments of learned counsel for the plaintiffs-respondents are admitted even then the possession by Mst. Iqbal Begum since the year 1961 and subsequently by her legal heirs in the year 1971 and till today by the appellants-defendants cannot be denied as there is no evidence on the file produced by the plaintiffs-respondents that the property was relinquished by Mst. Iqbal Begum or she or her legal heirs subsequently parted with the possession.

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