Civil Writ Petition No. 10739 of 2009 1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH Civil Writ Petition No. 10739 of 2009
Date of decision : 28.08.2012
Financial Commissioner, Revenue Punjab, Chandigarh and others .....Respondents
CORAM:- HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE RANJIT SINGH
1. Whether Reporters of local papers may be allowed to see the judgement?
2. To be referred to the Reporters or not?
3. Whether the judgment should be reported in the Digest? Present: Mr. Paramjeet Rajput, Advocate
for the petitioner.
Mr. Yatinder Sharma, DAG Punjab
for the State
Ms. Pooja Chopra, Advocate
for respondents No. 5 and 6
RANJIT SINGH, J.
Petitioner has approached this Court for quashing the orders Annexures P-1, P-3 and P-8. Vide these orders, the Will standing in favour of the petitioner has been rejected on the erroneous ground that the same is shrouded by suspicious circumstances.
It is alleged that the petitioner's grand mother executed Will in his favour on 7.10.1998. She breathed his last on 23.03.1999. Mutation No. 2124 was entered by Halqa Patwari on 18.11.1999. This was declared as contested mutation by AC IInd Grade as two daughters of the deceased Nasib Kaur-grand mother of the petitioner Civil Writ Petition No. 10739 of 2009 2 objected to Will on 25.11.1999. SDM cum AC Ist Grade visited the spot and recorded the statements of marginal witness and decided the case in favour of the petitioner on 02.05.2000. The respondent-objectors filed an appeal before the Collector who remanded back the case. Marginal witness and Lambardar appeared and were cross-examined. One more witness Santokh Singh appeared to support the Will. Thereafter, AC Ist Grade-cum- S.D.M. Ludhiana East rejected the Will by observing that the Will is shrouded by suspicious circumstances. Order dated 9.9.2002 is alleged to have been passed without any evidence in support.
The petitioner then filed an appeal before the Collector cum Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana, which was partly allowed whereby 1/6th share was granted to respondent No. 10 but the Will was not accepted. The petitioner then filed a revision petition before the Divisional Commissioner, Patiala Division, Patiala which was allowed on 13.06.2005. Respondents 5 and 6, thereafter, approached Financial Commissioner, Punjab in the year 2005 who has accepted the revision despite various judgments cited before him. The petitioner, accordingly, has filed this writ petition before this Court impugning the order passed by the Financial Commissioner. Notice was issued to the respondents and respondents No. 5 and 6 have filed reply. It is urged that AC Ist Grade-cum-SDM Ludhaina, Collector(DC), Ludhiana and Financial Commissioner (Appeals) Punjab have rightly ordered the mutation to be sanctioned on the basis of natural succession. As per the respondents, they Civil Writ Petition No. 10739 of 2009 3 have rightly rejected the Will set up by the petitioner being shrouded by suspicious circumstances. It is also stated that if the petitioner is aggrieved against any finding in regard to the Will, he have to approach the Civil Courts and would require to prove the validity of the Will by leading cogent, reliable and trustworthy evidence. Some detailed circumstances which will create suspicion about the Will has also been listed in the reply and, accordingly, it is alleged that there is no case made out to interfere with the impugned order passed. At the out set, counsels were required to make submission if the Revenue Authority could go into validity of the Will or not.
Counsel for the respondents has placed before me a Division Bench judgment in the case of Gurmail Singh and others vs. Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab and another, 2011 (1) Land.L.R. 582. The Division Bench in this case has observed that where there is a dispute about the validity of Will and persons are claiming succession on the basis of unregistered Will then the same is required to be adjudicated upon by the Civil Court and not in the mutation proceedings. Even similar is the view expressed by another Division Bench in Jagtar Singh vs. State of Punjab, 2007(4) RCR (Civil) 61. Hon'ble Supreme Court in Rajinder Singh vs. State of Jammu and Kashmir and others, 2008(9) Supreme Court Cases 368 has observed that substantive rights of title and of ownership of contesting claimants can be decided only by competent civil court in appropriate proceedings. It is observed that the mutation on the basis of validity of the Will when pending before the Civil Court, the Civil Writ Petition No. 10739 of 2009 4 sanctioning of mutation should be kept in abeyance till the decision of the Civil Court. Thus, it can be stated that validity of the Will more appropriately can be gone into by the Civil Court and ought not to be determined or decided by the authorities under the Revenue Act. Accordingly, the impugned order can not be tested on the ground that the Authorities have not correctly appreciated evidence and may not be called for. It would be appropriate for the parties to approach the Civil Court, if there is a dispute regarding the Will. Final decision in regard to the mutation would depend upon the findings returned by the Civil Court. To protect the rights of the respective parties, it is directed that during the pendency of civil Court proceedings, party in possession shall not further alienate the land in question till the validity of the Will is adjudicated by Civil Court. The present writ petition is disposed of accordingly. August 28, 2012 ( RANJIT SINGH ) reena JUDGE