LHC decides land acquisition case older than Pakistan

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LHC ECP reserved seats

The Lahore High Court on Saturday decided a 78-year-old land acquisition case while overturning the 1952 decision of the two-judge bench of the Civil Court. In 1944, two men: Aslam and Fazal sold 219 kanal land in Lyallpur (now called Faisalabad) to one Dhana Singh. But Dhana Singh left Pakistan and went to India after Independence in 1947. In 1951, Khalid Mehmood filed a petition against his father Fazal and Dhana Singh challenging the sale of Lyallpur’s land to the latter.

The Civil Court in 1952 had given the judgement in favour of Khalid Mehmood after Dhana Singh failed to appear before the court. However, another petition was landed in the court in 1962 which was filed by Aslam’s son Najeeb. Aslam was another person involved in the sale of land to Dhana Singh. Nejeeb pleaded the court to cancel the transfer of land in the name of Khalid. When the court had accepted Najeeb’s petition in 1963, Khalid filed his appeal before the settlement commissioner.

The settlement commissioner dismissed Najeeb’s petition in 1964. Najeeb again appealed against the dismissal of his petition which was accepted in 1966. Najeeb’s children challenged the Civil Court’s 1952 decision in the Lahore High Court in 2018. The single bench of the LHC rejected their petition. However, Najeeb’s heirs challenged the LHC single-bench decision. A two-judge bench of the Lahore High Court heard their plea on Saturday and decided the case.

According to the LHC verdict, the land which was owned by the non-Muslims who left Pakistan after Independence, it became property of the central government in Pakistan. In a mala fide act, Khalid had not made the central Government of Pakistan respondent in his Civil Court petition in 1951. Khalid had won the case fraudulently and got the Civil Court verdict in his favour, the court ruled.—NNI