Supreme Court Allows Review Of ‘Shamlat Deh’ Judgment

The Supreme Court of India has allowed a review of the 2022 amendment to the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961, which enabled gram panchayats to manage shamlat deh or village common land. This amendment was overturned in May 2023 by a Bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta, citing inadequate consideration of a 1967 Supreme Court decision in Bhagat Ram vs. State of Punjab. Shamlat deh refers to communal land in villages used for grazing, forestry, and paths, traditionally managed by gram panchayats. The legal challenge revolves around constitutional rights and compensation for landowners, with implications for community land management and ecological balance.

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