For rehabilitating landless original allottees or their legal heirs who suffered eviction after the expiry of their 20-year lease period, the Haryana assembly on Wednesday passed a bill to facilitate allotment of the said land on further lease.
The amendment in the Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation) Act would come as a relief to a number of Sikh families of Kaithal and Kurukshetra facing prospects of eviction.
It entails that landless original allottees or their legal heirs who remained in continuous cultivating possession till September 24, 1986, may be allotted the said land in shamlat deh on further lease by way of allotment for 99 years. This would be done after recovering user and occupation charges of the period for which they remained in possession even after expiry of lease period.
As per the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, several landless persons who needed to be rehabilitated were allotted uncultivable land under the East Punjab Utilisation of Lands Act, 1949, and the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1953.
"These lessees made the uncultivable land cultivable and arable with their hard work. After expiry of the lease period, these lessees remained in possession of the lands till September 1986 and were, thereafter, evicted at different point of time due to court orders," it said.
In 1986, the Supreme Court in one such case had observed that the government may allot another piece of land elsewhere to the petitioners considering their pitiable condition. However, the necessary rehabilitation measures could not be undertaken by the government at that point of time and the erstwhile lessees were rendered landless with no means of subsistence.