‘Gilanis of Multan’ seek PM’s help in reviewing FLC decision

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A Gilani family of Multan has sought directions of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on behalf of the federal government to the Chairman Federal Land Commission (FLC) to review the order of its former chairman dated June 1998, which pertained to land reforms and involved litigation over agriculture land measuring around 402 acres.
According to the documents available with Pakistan Today, Makhdoom Syed Samiul Hassan Gilani, Makhdoom Syed Sohail Hassan Gilani and Makhdoom Syed Suleman Hassan Gilani, legal heirs of Mst Tallat Zahra D/O Makhdoom Syed Shaukat Hussain Gilani of Multan, have approached the federal government for review of FLC’s order dated June 1998, whereby the order of chief land commissioner, Punjab dated February 1995 was upheld. Late Tallat Zahra was a cousin of Prime Minister Gilani.
The Prime Minister’s Secretariat through the Cabinet Division forwarded the review petition of Makhdoom Syed Samiul Hassan Gilani and others to the FLC for comments. FLC in its opinion over the review petition said the stance taken by the applicants relates to change in the classification of soil which has already been exercised in the previous litigation and was not accepted on judicial side. However, it added, if the federal government is not satisfied and that the said exercise is required to be undertaken again in light of the actual position available in the revenue record, it can only be done be reviewing the order and hearing the respective parties and scrutinising the revenue record subject to permission of the federal government.
The petitioners stated in the petition to the PM that they could not place the matter before the High Court in writ jurisdiction against the FLC decision due to ailing health of their mother and could not pursue the case for a long time. They further said “This is also true that Land Reforms Act, 1977 does not provide any limitation in any of the cases yet the petitioners preferred to seek review of the orders on factual and actual grounds instead of knocking the door of the respective High Court under Article 199 of the constitution”.
According to the brief facts of the case, Tallat Zahra was a declarant under Land Reforms Act, 1977. The Bahawalpur Deputy Land Commissioner in August 1977 determined the holding of Tallat Zahra under Land Reforms Act, 1977 as 402 acres 1 kanal 15 marlas equivalent to 10,260 produce index units (PIUs) and ordered for resumption of 2,260 PIUs. The declarant filed an appeal before the Bahawalpur land commissioner on the grounds that PIUs of her holding were not correctly calculated by the deputy land commissioner. The land commissioner on May 11, 1978 dismissed the appeal as time barred and with the observation that objection regarding calculation of PIUs was not raised before the deputy land commissioner by the declarant.
The declarant filed revision petition before the Punjab Chief Land Commissioner against the orders passed by land commissioner, praying that unitary value of her holding might be calculated on the basis of possession of the declarant. She also prayed that classification of soil of her holding was not correctly evaluated by the revenue field staff. The additional chief land commissioner on March 26, 1979 remanded the case to the deputy land commissioner for fresh decision who determined the holding of the declarant equivalent to 9,503 PIUs. The declarant filed appeal before the land commissioner which was accepted. The inspection team, FLC scrutinised the case and pointed out that PIUs of the holding of the declarant were not correctly calculated by the deputy land commissioner while passing the order dated September 15, 1982. The inspection team, worked out the PIUs as 9,503 according to the classification of soil as entered in the revenue record. The Bahwalpur land commissioner in exercise of his powers under suo moto revision re-determined the holding equivalent to 8,534 PIUs and ordered to resume an area of 534 PIUs vide order dated 17-05-1984 instead of area calculated by FLC’s Inspection team.
The declarant then filed an appeal before the Punjab chief land commissioner which was dismissed vide order dated October 22, 1985 in default. The declarant filed application for restoration of her previous revision petition before Punjab chief land commissioner which was also rejected.