A.N. Bhandari, C.J.
1. This appeal under clause 10 of the Letters Patent raises the question whether the learned Singla Judge was justified in directing that the respondent who was forcibly evicted from a certain plot of land should be put back in possession thereof.
2. The facts of the case are very simple in-deed. On 21-7-2003, Bk. the respondent is alleged to have purchased a plot of land in the Faridkot State from the Raja of Faridkot and paid a sum of Rs. 600/- on account of one-fourth of the price. It appears that he failed to pay the balance and on 28-8-2005 Bk. the Raja of Faridkot brought a suit against the respondent for possession of the property in question. This suit was dismissed in default on 25-10-2006 as the plaintiff failed to appear in Court either in person or through counsel.
3. Having failed to secure the eviction of the plaintiff under an order of the Court the State of Pepsu and the Collector of Bhatinda District- put some members of backward classes in possession of the land, thereby dispossessing the respondent from the same. The respondent thereupon presented a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution in which he alleged that he had been evicted from land of which he was in possession and that his fundamental right to remain in possession of the property had been violated.
The learned Single Judge before whom this case was put for consideration came to the conclusion that according to the revenue papers the respondent was in possession of the land for several years and that his possession was later disturbed with the object of settling some members of Scheduled Tribes. He accordingly allowed the petition and issued a direction requiring the State Government to put the petitioner in possession of the land from which he had been forcibly evicted. The State is dissatisfied with this order and has preferred an appeal under clause 10 of the Letters Patent.
4. The revenue papers make it quite deal that the respondent was in possession of the property in the years 1951-52 and 1952-53 although it is stated in the said papers that the possession was disputed. The dispute was not as to whether the respondent was in actual physical possession of the property, but as to whether he had a right to remain in possession thereof. It may be that the respondent had no legal right to stay on the land in question, but the general purpose of the law is that regardless of the actual condition of the title to the right of possession of the property the party actually in peaceable and quiet possession shall not be turned out by strong hand, violence or terror.
Our attention has not been invited to any provision of law which empowers a State Government by force or show of force to evict a person who b in actual possession of immovable properly. If the State Government were of the opinion that the State had the superior title or the better right to possession it was open to them to bring an appropriate action against him and to secure his eviction in accordance with the provisions of law. They had no power to take the law in their own hand and to order eviction of the petitioner even though this was done with the laudable object of settling some members of the Scheduled Tribes.
5. For these reasons I would uphold the order of the learned Single Judge and dismiss the Appeal with costs.
Tek Chand, J.
6. I agree.