Land Classification: Legal Analysis

Delve into the detailed legal analysis of a significant case where the court examined the classification of village lands under the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961. This case revolves around determining whether specific land holdings meet the criteria to be considered ‘shamilat deh’ and vests in the village common body. Through a thorough legal assessment, the court concluded that the land in question, categorized as ‘shamlat patti’, does not fall under the definition of ‘shamilat deh’ as it was not utilized for the village community’s benefit. Stay tuned to discover the court’s rationale and its impact on land ownership disputes.


  • The issue in this case is whether the land occupied by the appellant(s) qualifies as ‘shamilat deh’ land under the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961.
  • The key question is whether this land should be vested in the village common body according to the Act.

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  • The terms ‘taraf’, ‘patti’, ‘panna’ and ‘thola’ are different but have a common strain running through them, describing land of a group of villagers.
  • In the Act, ‘shamilat deh’ includes lands used for common village purposes, and ‘shamilat taraf’, ‘patti’, ‘pannas’ and ‘tholas’ are treated as separate.
  • The omission of comma after ‘shamilat’ seems to be an error, and ‘shamilat’ should be read with ‘taraf’, ‘patti’, ‘panna’ and ‘thola’.
  • The definition of ‘shamilat deh’ requires the land to be used for the benefit of the village community to qualify.
  • The land in question, though ‘shamilat’, is asserted to be a ‘patti’ in possession of the appellant(s) for more than a century, not used for common village purposes.
  • The appellant’s claim is that the land does not fall under the definition of ‘shamilat deh’ as it is not used for the benefit of the village community.
  • The revenue records have consistently shown the land as ‘Shamlat Patti’, indicating the appellant(s) and his ancestors’ possession.
  • The land was not used for the benefit of the entire village community or even a part of the community.
  • As a result, the land cannot be classified as ‘Shamilat Deh’.
  • Therefore, the land will not vest in the village proprietary body.

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  • The name of the appellant(s) be entered in the column of ownership with the entry ‘shamlat patti’.
  • Pending application(s), if any, shall stand(s) disposed of.
  • No order as to costs.
  • The appeal is allowed and the judgment of the High Court dated 03.07.2008 and the orders of all the authorities below are set aside.

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Case Number: C.A. No.-006319-006319 / 2009

Click here to read/download original judgement

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