The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal against a Rajasthan High Court verdict which had held that a person being a resident and member of the Scheduled Caste in Punjab cannot take the benefit of Scheduled Caste in Rajasthan for land purchase.
Referring to earlier apex court judgments, the top court said the petitioner, a permanent resident of Punjab, cannot claim the benefit of being a member of Scheduled Caste in Rajasthan for purchase of land which was given to the original allottee as a Scheduled Caste landless person.
A bench of Justices M R Shah and A S Bopanna said the division bench of the high court had rightly held that the land transaction in favour of the appellant was in clear breach of a provision of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955.
”In view of the above, the appellant – original defendant being a Scheduled Caste belonging to Punjab and being an ordinarily and permanent resident of the state of Punjab — cannot claim the benefit of a Scheduled Caste in Rajasthan for the purpose of purchase of the land belonging to a Scheduled Caste person of Rajasthan, which was given to original allottee as Scheduled Caste landless person,” the bench said.
The top court delivered its verdict on an appeal against the April 2011 judgement delivered by a division bench of the high court. It noted that the dispute was about a land in Sri Ganganagar district in Rajasthan. The apex court said the land was allotted to a man as a Scheduled Caste landless person. It noted that in 1972, he had borrowed Rs 5,000 from another person, who under the guise of documentation, fraudulently made him sign the sale deed in favour of a man who was a resident of Punjab.
Later, the matter went to the trial court and subsequently to the high court.
The apex court, in its verdict, said that considering the documentary evidence in the matter, it cannot be said that the appellant is an ordinarily/permanent resident of the state of Rajasthan.
It noted that as per section 42 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955, there is a restriction on sale, gift or bequest by a member of SC in favour of a person, who is not a member of SC. ”Looking to the object and purpose of such a provision, it can be said that the said provision is to protect a member of the Scheduled Caste belonging to the very state he belongs ie in the present case the state of Rajasthan,” the bench said. ”Under the circumstances, the present appeal fails and the same deserves to be dismissed and is accordingly dismissed,” it said.