1. Executive Officer, Panchayat Samiti, Kotkapura, has filed an affidavit pursuant to this Court's order dated September 21, 1993. The affidavit be taken on record
2. The Dispute in this appeal relates to a piece of land measuring 611 sq. yards. The Settlement Officer, Jullundur, by his order dated December 9, 1968, decided to sell the land to the appellant by negotiation at assessed price of Rs. 6110. The appellant was also directed to pay Rs. 1539.05 by way of damages for use and occupation of the said property up to December 1968. Since the appellant was in possession of the property as a displaced person, he was entitled to the purchase of the same in terms of the policy decision of the Government. The appellant agreed to pay the assessed price for the land but so far as the demand for payment of damages was concerned, he challenged the same before the higher authorities. While the matter was under consideration, an area measuring 16 canals 19 marlas including the land in dispute was transferred by the respondents to the Panchayat Samiti, Kotkapura, for a sum of Rs. 8814. The appellant challenged the transfer of the land in dispute to the Panchayat Samiti, Kotkapura before the authorities under the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 (the Act). The appellant lost before all the authorities. The writ petition filed by him before the High Court was dismissed in limine
3. It is not disputed by the respondents that the appellant is possession of the land in dispute till date. It is also not disputed that the appellant has raised construction on the land. The appellant who is present in the Court states that he has constructed a residential house on the land in dispute
4. We have heard learned counsel for the parties. The appellant being a displaced person - in terms of the policy of the Government - was entitled to the purchase of the land in dispute and it was rightly offered to him by the Settlement Officer, Jullundur. While the dispute regarding the payment of damages was pending before the higher authorities, the land was sold to the Panchayat Samiti, Kotkapura without any notice to the appellant. There is nothing on the record to show that the order of the Settlement Officer dated December 9, 1968, in favour of the appellant, was at any stage set aside by any authority. In any case, the disputed land having been offered to the appellant, for a sum of Rs. 6110, the same could not have been transferred to the Panchayat Samiti without hearing the appellant
5. Keeping in view the facts and circumstances mentioned above, especially, that the appellant is in possession of the land and has built a residential house on the same, we order that the land in dispute be sold to the appellant on the terms and conditions as contained in the letter of offer dated December 9, 1968
6. We allow the appeal, set aside the orders adverse to the appellant passed by the authorities under the Act and that of the High Court. The respondents are directed to transfer the land in dispute to the appellant on payment of Rs. 6110 plus Rs. 1539.05 in terms of the letter of the Settlement Officer, Jullundur, dated December 9, 1968. Needless to say that as a consequence the sale of the disputed land in favour of Panchayat Samiti stands cancelled. No costs.