N.K. Sodhi, J.
1. A vacant plot measuring 37 x 14' situate in the municipal limits of Morinda, District Ropar was taken on lease by Shri Jati Ram, father of the petitioner, in an auction from the then District Board, Ambala for a period of one year from 1-1-1954 to 31-12-1954 on a rent of Rs. 100/- per annum. He remained in possession after the expiry of the initial lease period and continued paying rent to the Panchayat Samiti, Chamkaur Sahib as the District Board, Ambala had ceased to exist. Jati Ram, was later granted permission by respondent No. 3 for raising construction on the vacant plot and he is stated to have constructed two sheds/shops thereon. He is said to have paid the rent till the date of'his death which took place sometime in the year 1970. Thereafter, the petitioner came in possession and is stated to have paid rent to the Panchayat Samiti till the year 1977 78.
2. On March 17, 1978, respondent No. 3 filed an application under Section 5 of the Punjab Public Premises and Land (Eviction and Rent Recovery) Act, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) for the eviction of the petitioner on the ground that he was in unauthorised occupation of the plot belonging to the applicant. The petitioner was ordered to be evicted as per order dated March 18, 1981 passed by the Collector, Ropar exercising the powers under the Act with a direction to respondent No. 3 to pay compensation to the petition refer the construction raised on the vacant plot. The appeal filed by the petitioner before the Commissioner, Patiala Division, Patiala was accepted and the order of the Collector was set aside. The Commissioner held that the petitioner was not in unauthorised occupation of the land in dispute. The finding recorded by the Commissioner is as under:--
'............It is an admitted fact that first of all the land in question had been given to Jati Ram, the father of the appellant, who continued paying the rent regularly, which was accepted by the Panchayat Samiti; even after the death of Jati Ram, the appellant is admitted to have been paying the rent to the Panchayat Samiti. Since the Panchayat Samiti had been receiving and accepting the rent regularly paid by the appellant, the appellant cannot be said to be in unauthorised occupation of the land in dispute and, therefore, the respondent's plea that the appellant is in unauthorised occupation of the land in dispute is not tenable.....'
After holding that the petitioner was paying rent regularly and that he was not in unauthorised possession, the Commissioner instead of dismissing the application filed by respondent No. 3, remanded the case to the Collector for a fresh decision on merits with a direction that the Collector should verify whether the Panchayat Samiti required the land in dispute for the construction of an office/rest house. If so, the petitioner was held liable to vacate the premises within the period fixed in the order. In case, the Panchayat Samiti did not require the land for the afore and purpose and was wanting to auction the same; the petitioner was allowed to participate in ihe bid proceedings
3. After remand, the Collector directed the Panchayat Samiti to inform the Court whether it required the same for the construction of a rest house and if it was so required, Panchayat Samiti was further directed to furnish details regarding sanction from the State Government and estimate for construction by a certain period failing which the land would be put to public auction. Against this order, the petitioner again went in appeal before the Commissioner, Patiala Division, Patiala who as per his order dated November 5, 1986 upheld the order of the Collector holding that the same was in consonance with the directions issued by his predecessor while remanding the case. It was at this stage that the petitioner filed the present writ petition impugning the orders of the Collector and the Commissioner passed after remand and the earlier order of the Commissioner has been filed with the petition as Annexure P-2.
4. On notice issued to the respondents, the Panchayat Samiti (respondent No. 3) has filed its written statement opposing the writ petition.
5. After hearing learned counsel for the parties, I am of the view that the writ petition deserves to be allowed. As has already been observed earlier, the Commissioner as per his order dated January 10, 1983 had accepted the appeal filed by the petitioner against the order of the Collector whereby his ejectment Had been ordered. It was found by the C )mmissioner that, the petititioner was not in unauthorised possession as he had been paying rent regularly to respondent No. 3 It was also found that the land was initially leased out to the father of the petitioner, who too had been paying the rent regularly. I see no reason why after coming to the conclusion that the petitioner was not in unauthorised possession, the application for eviction filed by respondent No. 3 was not dismissed. There was indeed no justification for the Commissioner to remand the case back for ascertaining whether the Panchayat Samiti required the land for' the construction of a rest house. If'it was so required, it was open to the Panchayat Samiti to determine the tenancy/lease of the petitioner in accordance with law and then seek his eviction. It could not be denied on behalf of respondent No. 3 that the tenancy of the petitioner was never determined after 1977-78. It is ture that a notice determining the lease in favour of Jati Ram was issued in his life time on March 17, 1964 but that is of no consequence since thereafter the Panchayat Samiti received rent for the period 1963 to 1977 and Exhibit R-3 is he receipt in this regard to which reference has been made by the Collector in his order dated March 18, 1981. It is again true that another notice dated July 30, 1970 was sent by the Panchayat Samiti tq Jati Ram for vacating the land in dispute but since rent had been accepted upto the year 1977, there was no question of the lease being terminated or Jati Ram becoming an unauthorised occupant of the premises in dispute.
6. Consequently, in view of the findings recorded by the Commissioner in his order dated January 10,1983, I allow this writ petition and quash the order dated January 30, 1984 of the Collector and that of the Commissioner dated November 5, 1986 upholding the same The order of the Commissioner dated January 10, 1983 is also quashed to the extent it remanded the case to the Collector. It will, however, be open to the Panchayat Samiti (respondent No. 3) to determine the tenancy/lease of the petitioner in accordance with law and seek his eviction thereafter, Parties are left to bear their own costs.