On a petition challenging the declaration of Saini Majra village (a notified backward area) in Rupnagar district as an urban area/nagar panchayat, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday, while issuing a notice of motion to the Punjab government, directed it to file its reply.
The directions came from the division bench headed by justice Surya Kant on a petition filed by Joginder Saini and others of Saini Majra village. The petitioners have sought quashing of the notifications issued by the state government to this effect on March 28 and May 30 last year.
The petitioners had submitted that these notifications had put the burden of taxes on the village residents without providing any facility of urbanisation, adding that the notifications were also contrary to the guidelines issued by the central government. This particular area does not fall within the parameters specified under the relevant statute so as to constitute the nagar panchayat, it was submitted.
It was submitted that the state government should have taken into consideration the facts of population of the area and its density, revenue generated for local administration, percentage of the employment in non-agricultural activities, and economic importance of the area and other relevant facts, which was not done. The court was informed that only those areas could be declared urban in which more than 85% of the population was doing non-agriculture work, but in this village, a majority of the population was earning its livelihood from agriculture work.