Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has cleared the decks for the persons of Sindhi community, who migrated to India from Pakistan and Bangladesh. The HC has granted a major relief for such immigrants, whose pleas to claim properties in India in lieu of their lands, which they left behind in either Pakistan or Bangladesh.

A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Nitin Jamdar recently allowed a petition filed by the International Sindhi Panchayats Federation, which challenged the stand of the Maharashtra government for denying their right to lay claims and seek properties in lieu of their immovable properties they left in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The HC said the 2005 Act passed by the government by repealing the 1954 act does not takes away the rights of such persons. The 1954 law allowed such persons to file applications before the government and seek properties in lieu of their lands left in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The federation claimed that the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 was passed to decide claims of those who had migrated from the territories now forming part of Pakistan and Bangladesh to territories now comprising India and had left behind properties.

It further claimed that dedicated authorities and tribunals were constituted to decide such claims and that these authorities had both appellate as well as revisional powers.

According to the federation, the government repealed the 1954 act by introducing a new one in 2005 by totally neglecting all the claims or appeals or revisions that were pending under the old act.

"The authorities under the 1954 act took a stand that since the old law was repealed by the new 2005 act then nothing remained to be decided under the old law," argued advocate NR Bubna, who appeared for one of the petitioners in the case.

Having considered the material on record, CJ Nandrajog said, "In view of the provisions of the General Clauses Act, repealing a law saves rights which have accrued under the old act.

Therefore, we declare that notwithstanding the old act of 1954, the proceedings, be there original, appellate or revisional proceedings, continue because they survive and the said proceedings would have to be decided as per the new law."

"The right of appeal being a statutory right, pertaining to original applications which have to be decided under the new law once they are decided, the appellate as well as revisional remedy under the new law would be maintainable," CJ Nandrajog ruled.

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