1. The petitioners challenge the order dated 09.03.2015, passed by the J&K Special Tribunal, Jammu. By virtue of the said order, the revision petition filed by the petitioners against the order of the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Kathua with powers of Commissioner Agrarian Reforms dated 29.05.2011 has been dismissed and the order dated 29.05.2011 upheld.
2. Briefly stated the material facts are as under:-
3. The dispute in the present case pertains to a piece of land measuring 12 Kanals falling under Khasra No. 162 at Village Pitho Pain, Tehsil and District, Kathua. The claim of the private respondent-Sh. Hans Raj alias Hanso in regard to the said land was based upon adverse possession. It was claimed that the said respondent was in possession of the said land since 1964.
4. In the earlier round of litigation, the Collector Agrarian Reforms (Assistant Commissioner) (R), Kathna vide order dated 16.01.2006 recorded a finding in favour of the said respondent that he was in possession of the land for more than twelve years and was, therefore, declared as owner by way of adverse possession under Section 19 (E) of the Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act').
5. The aforementioned order came to be challenged before the Commissioner Agrarian Reforms, Kathua by way of an appeal, which was dismissed vide order dated 29.05.2011, passed by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Kathua with powers of Commissioner Agrarian Reforms. This order was further challenged before the J&K Special Tribunal, Jammu by way of a revision petition, which too came to be dismissed vide order dated 09.03.2015, hence the present writ petition.
6. Learned counsel for the petitioners states that the authorities below had ignored the fact that the claim by way of adverse possession could succeed only, if the adverse possession was for or beyond the period of twelve years.
7. In the present case, it was stated that the respondents had specifically claimed possession of the suit land since 1964. It was also stated that a civil suit for possession had been filed by the petitioners against the respondents in the year 1973 in the Court of learned Munsiff, Kathua, which came to be transferred to the authority under the Act in the year 1978.
8. It was, thus, urged that on the date of filing of the civil suit for possession, the right of the respondents had not fructified in one of the adverse possessions.
9. Reliance was placed upon the judgment of the Apex Court, rendered in case titled, "Saroop Singh Vs. Banto and ors., reported in 2005 (8) SCC 330" to emphasize the necessary ingredients of adverse possession before a claim can be allowed.
10. On a perusal of the order impugned dated 09.03.2015, passed by the J&K Special Tribunal, Jammu, as also on a perusal of the orders dated 16.01.2006, passed by the Collector Agrarian Reforms and one passed in an appeal dated 29.05.2011, passed by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Kathua with powers of the Commissioner Agrarian Reforms, it can clearly be seen that all the orders on the face of it, are non-speaking orders. None of the authorities below have taken trouble of considering the effect of the civil suit for possession filed by the petitioner in the year 1973. Admittedly, the authorities below had to consider the effect of filing of the civil suit in the year 1973 keeping in view the fact that the responden
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ts herein had claimed possession only w.e.f. 1964. 11. Be that as it may, the orders impugned are unsustainable and are, accordingly, set aside. The matter is remanded to the Special Tribunal, Jammu for re-consideration in the light of the aforementioned observations. 12. Disposed of, accordingly. 13. Parties to appear before the Tribunal on 30.09.2019.