Chandigarh: The Punjab government has formed a three-member committee to look into the cases of illegal possession of `shamlat` land (village common land) in Mohali district and initiate appropriate action to restore them to village panchayats.
Announcing this, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said legal action would be taken if anyone is found to be in unlawful possession of `shamlat` land.
The committee, comprising Director Rural Development and Panchayats SK Raju, Special Secretary Revenue SS Khara and District Revenue Officer Mohali Rohit Gupta, has been asked to submit its initial report by December 31.
"Several instances of unlawful possession of such lands in Mohali district have come to the notice of the state government and the Chief Minister`s decision comes in the wake of such inputs," an official spokesperson said.
The committee would go beyond the ambit of findings of a Tribunal which was set up by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The tribunal headed by Justice (Retd) Kuldeep Singh had already submitted a report.
"The committee has been mandated to examine the cases, firstly in respect of villages regarding which the Justice Kuldeep Singh Tribunal has given its report and secondly in respect of other villages," the spokesman said.
The terms of reference in the first case would be to initiate appropriate action to rectify irregularities that have been identified by the tribunal so that the lands which have been wrongfully distributed among the private persons could be given back to the panchayats, he said.
Likewise, the committee had been asked to prepare village-wise inventory of panchayat lands in Mohali district and ascertain the current status of this land in terms of both government record and actual possession.
Apart from this, the committee would also identify persons who have "usurped" panchayat land through various means and also suggest measures for retrieving them.