1. In the writ petition which has been allowed in part, land had been reserved in a consolidation scheme for a lorry stand, a Government school, a play-ground, phirnis, paths leading to neighbouring villages and to railway station, widening of the Noormahal Jullundur Road, extension of village abadi and for ponds, manure pits, community latrines, etc. Before the learned Single Judge only three points were argued. The first objection which was raised was that the scheme contravened Section 15 of the East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act, 1948, by not providing for compensation to any owner who was allotted a holding of a lesser value than that of his original holding. The learned Judge declined to go into the merits of this objection because the scheme had been confirmed in March 1958 and no petition was filed in this Court till April 1959.
2. The next objection taken before the learned Single Judge was that land had been allotted to the Panchayat in excess of the area vested in it prior to the consolidation proceedings. Following the decision in Munsha Singh v. State of Punjab, 62 Pun LR 1: (AIR 1960 Punj 317) (FB), the learned Judge held that the allotment of land to the Panchayat in excess of its previous holding would invalidate the scheme to that extent.
3. The last ground urged was that 75 kanals and 17 marlas of land had been reserved for widening of the Noormahal Jullundur Road belonging to the District Board and 1 kanal and 9 marlas had been reserved for the lorry stand. The learned Judge held that no land could have been reserved for these purposes under the East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act and that land could be acquired only under the Land Acquisition Act. As regards 131 kanals and 1 marla which had been reserved for Government School for boys and girls, it was held that it was obviously a common purpose. The scheme was accordingly quashed to the extent indicated before. The present appeal has been filed by the State under Clause 10 of the Letters Patent.
4. There can be no manner of doubt that in view of our decision in Jit Singh v. State of Punjab (Letters Patent Appeal No. 131 of 1960): (AIR 1964 Punj 419 FB), the only reservation which could not have been validly and properly made relates to the area of 75 kanals and 17 marlas meant for widening of the Noormahal Jullundur Road. Even the learned counsel for the State does not dispute this position. So far as the lands reserved for other purposes are concerned, the scheme would be perfectly valid.
5. In the result, the appeal is allowed to the extent that the scheme shall stand set aside only with regard to the reservation made for widening of the Noormahal Jullundur Road. In all other respects the writ petition shall stand dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.
P.D. Sharma, J.
6. I agree.
D. Falshaw, C.J.
7. I agree.