Land sale to Tibetans & unfurling of Tibetan flag challenged in Himachal Court

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court today issued notices to the Union Government, Himachal Pradesh Government and Tibetan Government in Exile against a petition filed regarding permission granted to Tibetan refugees for purchase of land in the state.

The petitioner also alleged in his petition that the Tibetan refugees in their offices of government in exile, monasteries and other institutions have furled the flag of Tibetan Government in Exile which is unconstitutional since in India, only the National flag of India can be furled. He urged the court that directions be issued to the Tibetan Government in exile to remove all the flags of Tibetan Government from all the monasteries and the offices of Central Tibetan Administration in Himachal Pradesh. The petitioner further urged the court that if any treaty existed between Government of India and the Tibetan Government in exile in this regard that also be declared unconstitutional.

The petition challenged the action of the state authorities to grant permission to Tibetans for purchase of land in the state in violation of section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act. According to the petitioner, Pawan Kumar resident of Rewalsar in Mandi District the Tibetan refugees in Dharamshala, Mcleodgang, Kullu, Manali, Riwalsar, Shimla and Solan etc. on the basis of false and forged documentation have purchased the land in their names and they have become the owner in possession of land in the state as a result of connivance with the revenue agencies, which is not permissible under the said Act and is in violation of provisions of the Act. The petitioner urged the court that all such land transactions be set aside and directions be issued to state government to instruct all DCs not to transfer any land by any means in the names of Tibetan refugees in violations of provisions of the Act.

While issuing notices a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice VK Ahuja made it clear that all the land transactions would be subject to final outcome of the petition and it will be made clear in all proceedings.

The court directed all the respondents including Tibetan Government in exile to file their reply within two months and listed this matter before the court on 21.03.2011.

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