J.M. Tandon, J.
1. Nanu (now deceased and represented by his son and daughter Mangal and Dhan Kaur respondents Nos. 4 and 5 respectively) was a big landowner in village Kheri Lamba, Tahsil Narwana, District Jind. His surplus case was decided by the competent authorities and 12 Standard Acres 11/2 Units of land was declared surplus. Out of this surplus area, 7 Standard Acres 7 Units of land was allotted to Sheo Chand, Shera and Shri Chand appellants. On Nov. 21, 1967, the appellants were delivered symbolic possession of the allotted area as crops were standing thereon, by the Naib Tahsildar vide his report which reads :--
'The tenants have been directed that after getting the sanction of the Collector, they should deposit the compensation and the possession of the land shall be deemed to have been delivered to them after the compensation has been deposited by them.'
2. The compensation was deposited by the appellants on Feb. 22, 1968. In the meantime, Nanu died on Jan. 3, 1968. The son and the daughter of Nanu who inherited his estate are small landowners. They approached the authorities with the prayer that the surplus area proceedings against their father be dropped on account of his death of Jan. 3,1968, before his surplus area could vest in the State Government in terms of S. 32-E of the Pepsu Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1955, (hereinafter the Act). Having failed to get relief with respect to 7 Standard Acres 7 Units of land allotted in the names of the appellants, they filed Civil Writ Petition No. 5080 of 1978 which was accepted by a learned single Judge vide order dated August 30, 1979. It was held that the surplus land of Nanu had not been utilised during his lifetime and the same could not be utilised by the State as by inheritance it has become the property of his son and daughter Mangal and Dhan Kaur respectively. It is against this order that the present Letters Patent Appeal has been filed by the appellants.
3. The learned counsel for the appellants has argued that irrespective of the fact that the appellants were given symbolic possession of land (and not physical) measuring 7 Standard Acres 7 Units on Nov. 21, 1967, because crops were standing thereon, the surplus area of Nanu deceased to that extent shall be taken to have been utilised in terms of Section 32-E of the Act and the same shall vest in the State Government with effect from that date. Mangal and Dhan Kaur respondents, therefore cannot justifiably claim inheritance of this land from their father. The contention is without merit. Under Section 32-E of the Act, the surplus area of a landowner shall on the date on which possession thereof is taken by or on behalf of the State Government be deemed to have been acquired by the State government for a public purpose and all rights, title and interest of all persons in which land shall stand extinguished. It was held in Bhagwan Singh v. State of Punjab, (1965) 67 Pun LR 1016 : (AIR 1966 Punj 25), that the land which is declared to be surplus vests in the State only on the date on which its possession is taken and its owner dispossessed and if before that day the original landowner has died, the question of surplus has to be determined with respect to the estate in the hands of the persons who succeed him as his heirs. The appellants were not delivered the actual possession of the land on Nov. 21, 1967. They were delivered only symbolic possession on that date because crops were standing thereon. The Naib Tahsildar who delivered the symbolic possession clearly stated in his report that the appellants had been directed to deposit the compensation after getting the sanction of the Collector and possession of the land shall be deemed to have been delivered to them after the compensation had been deposited by them. The appellants deposited the compensation on Feb. 22, 1968. The appellants could thus be deemed to have been given the possession of the land on that date. The landowner could be deemed to have been dispossessed from the land on the date the appellants were deemed to have taken its possession. Nanu could be deemed to have been dispossessed from the land in dispute in terms of Section 32-E of the Act on Feb. 22, 1968, and before he could be dispossessed he died on Jan. 3, 1968. The learned single Judge has, therefore, rightly concluded that the surplus land of Nanu was not utilised in terms of Section 32-E of the Act during his lifetime and after his death on Jan. 3, 1968, his son and daughter Mangal and Dhan Kaur respondents respectively became its owners by inheritance.
4. No other point has been argued.
5. In the result, the Letters Patent appeal fails and is dismissed with no order as to costs.
S.S. Sandhawalia, C.J.
6. I agree.
7. Appeal dismissed.