While state agencies are busy passing the buck on how the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) happended to be divested of 464 acres of prime land in Gwal Pahari, revenue court proceedings have revealed that this came to pass as government representatives chose to remain silent during the hearing of a land mutation order.
HT is in possession of the January 2 revenue court proceedings, by former district collector TL Satyaprakash, which led to MCG being divested of land rights.
Satyaprakash, who was directed by the principal secretary to adjudicate the case, proceeded with evidences presented before him to base his observations as there was no opposition from the Tehsildar (tax inspector), Patwari (village accountant) and Kanungo (revenue inspector) of Gwal Pahari.
Gwal Pahari is situated in the Aravallis in Gurgaon and shares borders with New Delhi and Faridabad. Owing to its proximity to three cities, realtors have been eyeing the land for a long time.
On November 23, 2016, Devender Singh, principal secretary of industries and commerce, directed Satyaprakash to adjudicate a mutation order that deprived Metro Valley Park of its land in favour of MCG.
During the hearing on January 2 , before arguments were presented, Satyaprakash stated that the powers of the revenue court were limited to finding whether the sanction of the mutation order violated the two financial commissioner revenue (FCR) orders and a civil court order.
Satyaprakash observed that on October 21, 2015, an FCR order by SS Dhillon recorded Metro Valley Park as a jamabandi (right of records) on the land from 2008.
The same was not opposed by the MCG in any written argument or in appeal. Satyaprakash said the failure to submit any document would mandate the revenue authorities to comply with the FCR order.
The MCG counsel stated that the matter was status quo as directed by Punjab and Haryana high court in the ASF Buildwelland others vs state of Haryana and others. The February 5, 2010 order by the HC reverted the land ownership to the panchayat of Gwal Pahari. When the panchayat was disbanded, the land was transferred to the MCG.
On December 18, 2015, the revenue department mutated Metro Valley Park land to the MCG in order no. 3249, which was, prima facie, in violation of the FCR order.
The Tehsildar was asked by Satyaprakash “on what legal competency” was the mutation order passed.
The Tehslidar stated that his predecessor had carried out the mutation and only the kanungo or the patwari could shed some light.
During questioning, the kanungo said he was aware of the process that permitted mutation of land from jamabandis. However, he was silent on whether the mutation order no.3249 was done in “conformity of law”.
He claimed that the mutation was prepared by a patwari and the tehsildar, based on the MCG’s directions, had ordered him to sign it. The kanungo said the patwari should be questioned.
After cross-checking all arguments, Satyaprakash concluded that three points needed to be verified — whether the Tehsildar was legally competent to sanction the mutation while reversing the record of rights; on what manner did the mutation decide the rights of parties and titles of subject land; and, were the affected parties given a notice?
In his conclusion, Satyaprakash observed that the mutation no. 3249 was in violation of two FCR orders and a civil court order.
“It is evident that the Tehsilar of Sohna and other officials have exceeded their powers and jurisdiction and did not follow the due process while erroneously sanctioning mutation no. 3249…the mutation is ab initio void in the eyes of law,” Satyaprakash observed.
When contacted, Satyaprakash said ‘his observations were based on evidences’ and refused to comment further.