Tuesday, August 30, 2011
(This is a free-hand translation of the scanned copy of the article pasted below)
Diamond India, July 2011
Bagjana, the non-descript village in the Govardhan panchayat area of Mandal Tahsil may be small in area but not for the commitment it has shown for the protection of its common resources. Showing resilience and indefatigable spirit, the inhabitants have reclaimed their commons lands from the clutches of Mining Mafia. Truly, it stands as an epitome of conservation of common lands for all those who are concerned about the protection of such resources.
In a joint meeting organized by Foundation for Ecological security and Paryavaran Evam Jan Chetna Manch, Siloti Madari ( Kareda Rajaji) on 16th April, 2011, the speakers and villagers came together to deliberate on the importance of commons lands and its conservation through MNREGA. Both- the speakers and the participants emphasized the need to conserve the commons lands and said that it belonged to all.
Commenting on the vulnerability of grazing lands and common resources, many a speakers felt that they could only be saved through increasing awareness and strengthening of local level institutions. While the speakers and the participants believed that monitoring of these resources should be done at the local level, they also stressed the need to plant trees on the commons lands. They also pleaded with the Panchayat not to allow mining on the common lands, so as to put a stop to the further damage of environment.
The meeting also came as an occasion to revisit Bajgana villagers’ struggle and their eventual success against the mining mafia. Inhabitants who had come to participate in the meeting saw it as a morale booster in their struggle against Mafia who have put the local resources and environment in jeopardy. Inspired by the example of Bajgana, they pledged to put an end to the destruction of their common resources.
The enthusiasm exhibited by the local folk gathered at the meeting was truly radiating. It seeks to reaffirm faith in people’s collective strength at a time when Land has been reduced to a mere property, stripped of societal and cultural ethoses that have traditionally been associated with it. Gone are the days when it was looked upon as Mother or giver. Today, the only relationship people have with the land is that of a Property dealer and the Property, forgetting the subtle link that land is like our mother. Thus, what is at stake is not only the land but also our whole way of life.
Attempts to save commons
With the villagers galvanized to protect their common lands from the Land and Mining Mafia, who have their eyes on thousands of Bighas of commons lands, Mandal area is a picture of vibrant mobilization. If the community meeting held on june 5, 2011, at Shiv temple, Chitamba, is any indication, the villagers are geared up to go to any length to save their common resources. In a bid to popularize the recent government initiative, aimed at removing the encroachment from grazing lands, villagers have come up with ingenious slogans.
Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) , with its continued presence in the region, has been in the forefront of the demarcation drive. The organization has helped establish common land protection committee (CLPC) with support from local activists to expedite the process of demarcation. The over all idea behind the formation of committee is to conserve and upgrade such lands for future generation.
That the villagers are serious about the campaign is evidenced by the sheer pace of mobilization. Baluram Gurjar , an activist associated with Majdoor kisan shakti sangathan and a member of CLPC , exemplifies the peoples’ spirit. What he has achieved in the village of Thana, would appear near impossible to many who have been waging struggle for the common lands. Harnath Singh, an activist of FES, was next to get the uncategorized land converted as common land with the active help of Panchayat. The local administration, buoyed by these activities and taking a suo motto action on the matter has freed 80 hectare of granzing lands in Keedimal Panchayat area, from encroachment and converted the same as commons lands. The spree continues with Kartha ( Dhunvala) sarpanch Premkanwar and villagers drawing a memorandum and taking up the issue with the district collector to demarcate grazing land and help remove encroachment on it. The district collector has promised to provide personnel from police force to facilitate the eviction of encroachers.
The Rural awareness society, Bhilwara, has also launched a similar drive against encroachment on grazing lands in Seerdiyas and Sabal pura; and Mahua khurd that come under Mandal and Baneda tahsil respectively. The campaign which started off from Bajgana, has now engulfed several villages across adjacent blocks. The common lands protection committee and Rural awareness society have received as a mark of shared understanding, sustained support from Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) in establishing grass root networks for the ongoing campaign.
Related News Clippings
Everyone has rights over the Grazing lands
Bhilwara , April 16, 2011.
Paryavaran janchetna Manch, siloti-Mandariya (kareda-Rajaji) and Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) organized a federating meeting at Bagjana in Govardhan Panchayat area to deliberate on the repercussion of mining on the common lands. The meeting also emphasized the need to link development imperatives of commons lands to MNREGA.
The discussion was set off by Suresh Parashar, field coordinator, FES, who introduced the audiences to the organization and its objectives. Ranjeet singh, village representative of Sukhiya ki Dhani teekha, said that common lands belong to all; hence everyone should have a rightful access to it. He also elaborated on the need to strengthen village level organizations to check degradation of such lands. Speaking about the legal aspects of common lands, shri Balkrishan Kalaal, the naib-Tahsildar, affirmed that common lands must be seen as village land and every inhabitant of village must have equal access to it. Bhanvar Meghvanshi, giving vote of thanks, said that all the villagers should take a pledge to protect commons lands and put a stop to mining activities on them.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Memorandum to evict encroachers from grazing lands
The Regional Common Land Protection Committee and the Rural Awareness Society, Bhilwara have demanded to start a campaign to free the grazing lands of the encroachments through a memorandum presented to the Tehsildar. Submitting the memorandum to the Tehsildar, a group of social activists represented by Bhanvar Meghvanshi, said that some people have encroached upon grazing lands in many villages including Kartha and Bagjana. In these regions the grazing lands have not even been demarcated so far. This has only encouraged the encroachers to seize upon land worth crores of rupees, he said. The memorandum draws on the Supreme Court order which seeks to evict encroachers from all grazing lands by the 30th of June. Despite Chief Minister himself giving an assurance in this regard, the administration has remained indifferent to this issue in the region.
Demanding an early settlement to the dispute over the land in the Kajodia village under the Shahpura Panchayat Samiti, the villagers of Kajoria village handed a memorandum to the Deputy Block officer under the leadership of Sarpanch Avinash Jeengar. According to the memorandum, while the Kajodia Panchayat is located in the Banseda Tehsil, Shahpura on the boundary of the Bhilwara and Ajmer districts, the Gram Devpura Gram Panchayat is situated in the Kekdi tehsil on the boundary of the Ajmer district. People from both the villages bring their livestock for grazing on this land.
Villagers ask Collector to remove encroachment from Grazing lands
City Correspondent, Bhilwara
Kalulal Gurjar, former minister has asked the collector to book the encroachers in Dantda Chhota village of Kishangarh area of the Kotdi tehsil. In a memorandum presented to the collector, he demanded remove encroachment from grazing lands in the region. Gurjar also told that in addition to the grazing land, the encroachers have also appropriated uncategorized land in the vicinity, which has created adversities for the livestocks that depend on it for their fodder. He demanded that such land be freed from encroachment and reserved for government use so as to prevent repetitive encroachments. Ladulal Teli, Shankar Gurjar and many others were present on the occasion.
Friday, August 26, 2011
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI W.P.(PIL) No. 1076 of 2011
W.P.(PIL) No. 1783 of 2011
Court on its own Motion (Petitioner)
State of Jharkhand & Ors. (Respondents)
State of Jharkhand & Ors. (Respondents)
CORAM: HON'BLE THE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE HON'BLE MRS. JUSTICE JAYA ROY
For the Petitioner : Mr. Indrajit Sinha,Amicus Curiae
For the Respondent State : Mr. R.R.Mishra, G.P.II
For the Respondent CCL-BCCL: Mr. A.K.Mehta
For the Respondent HEC-BSL-SAIL : Mr. Rajiv Ranjan
Order No. 16 Dated 12th July, 2011 W.P.(PIL) No. 1076 of 2011
1. Today a detailed affidavit has been submitted by the State Government after obtaining factual report from all Deputy Commissioner of respective districts and in this report it has been disclosed that there are 24 districts in the State of Jharkhand and the State Government received report from 15 Districts only.
2. Learned counsel for the State submitted that the State will be submitting the supplementary report in respect of removal of the encroachment from the Government land/building/premises, after obtaining the information from the remaining 9 districts.
3. For the Ranchi city, only it has been stated that from July, 2010 till 25.06.2011 encroachments from 32 places have been removed. However, total number of encroachments have not been given for the city of Ranchi, therefore, the information is not complete. It was expected that name of the places, if that was sufficient, should have been given from where the encroachments have been removed in the city of Ranchi.
4. Following is the position of removal of encroachments district wise :-
975 (Removal of encroachment from 71 places in progress).
708 (Ramgarh Circle) 27 (Patratu Circle) 1.54 Acres of land in Gola Circle. 7.88 Acres of land in Mandu Circle.
3954 in Medininagar, 3006 Chattarpur and (Removal of encroachment Hussainabad Sub from 948 places in progress). Divisions.
78 people/ institutions have been removed.
831 from both sides of NH-31 along 33 km of length. 200 from Jhumri Tillaiya township.
477 (Chas) 183 (Chandankiyari) 41 (Jaridih) 23(Bermo) 190 (Petarwar) Pending 1796 from BCCL Area.
257 from town 98 from both sides of NH-33.
5. Along with this affidavit, order issued by the Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand dated 06.07.2011 has been annexed informing all concerned police officers of the area/circle that it will be their responsibility to see that there should not be any re-encroachment as well as encroachment under Government properties and the matter will be examined periodically and further, any lapses will be found then action will be taken against the concerned officer. These letter have been addressed to all Deputy Commissioners also giving guidelines.
6. From the details mentioned above, it is clear that report from total 15 places have been submitted which also contains no detailed figures. However, the Deputy Commissioners have informed that they are making all efforts to remove the encroachments.
7. Learned Amicus Curiae submitted that there is wide spread complaints with respect to the re-encroachments by the law breakers and, therefore, that fact may be taken note of and State may be directed to submit a detailed report about the allegations of re-encroachments by the law breakers.
8. We direct the State Government to submit the detailed report with respect to the re-encroachments made by these law breakers so that before appointing a Court Commissioner to inspect the entire area and obtaining videography, the State itself may correct, if there is a wrong going on. We are making it clear that all efforts made for cleaning of the cities and towns in the State of Jharkhand should not be ruined by the total inaction or collusion with any of the Government officials so as to deny relief to the law abiding public.
9. The State Government may also state on oath what steps have been taken for the construction of the flats which the State Government itself proposed.
10. Put up this case on 10.08.2011.
W.P.(PIL) No. 1783 of 2011
I.A. No. 1983 of 2011
11. Learned counsel for the applicant wants to withdraw I.A. No. 1983 of 2011 so as to file a separate Public Interest Litigation. The Interlocutory Application is dismissed as withdrawn with liberty to file a separate Public Interest Litigation wherein issue can be examined by the Court as to what public interest is involved in such petition. I.A. No. 1983 of 2011 is dismissed with the liberty aforesaid.
I.A. No. 2043 of 2011
12. Learned counsel for the applicant wants to withdraw I.A. No. 2043 of 2011 so as to file a separate Public Interest Litigation. The Interlocutory Application is dismissed as withdrawn with liberty to file a separate Public Interest Litigation wherein issue can be examined by the Court as to what public interest is involved in such petition. I.A. No. 2043 of 2011 is dismissed with the liberty aforesaid.
Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd. (H.E.C. Ltd.)
13. In pursuance of the order dated 04.07.2011, learned counsel for the H.E.C. submitted that there were total six persons in the category of dignitaries as given by the C.B.I. who encroached upon certain premises of the H.E.C. and the notice, as ordered by order dated 04.07.2011 published in the newspaper disclosing the names of six dignitaries. By now all those six persons termed as dignitaries by CBI have vacated the premises of the H.E.C. We appreciate the efforts made by the H.E.C. in taking action against these persons who were termed as dignitaries by the CBI and this is a good example of taking action against the high and mighty persons.
14. Learned counsel for the H.E.C. submitted that there were total 1241 encroachments in the H.E.C. premises and out of which 1088 encroachments have already been removed by now. This effort of H.E.C. indicate that if there is a will then the action can be taken for removal of encroachments to the extent of more than 1000 in number and, therefore, for this also H.E.C. requires appreciation. However, there are six unauthorized occupants in the premises of the H.E.C. for which learned counsel for the H.E.C. submitted that there is a reasonable reason for regularization as they are occupying the premises because they are contract workers and their case is under consideration of the Management for regularization and if it will be found worth regularization, then only the H.E.C. will regularize their possession and not otherwise.
15. Learned counsel for the H.E.C. submitted that approximately 315 acres of land is under encroachment, apart from the properties mentioned above, for which notices have been issued to all persons but because of the festival, date for vacating the land was given 18th July, 2011. Learned counsel further submitted that because of non-delivery of possession of this land on 315 acres, the H.E.C. is not getting the money to the tune of Rs. 111 Crores which the State is agreeable to pay only on the condition that vacant possession is delivered to the State Government. This clearly indicates that a Public Sector Undertaking is suffering still because of the encroachments on the land of the H.E.C. The H.E.C. was revived by the order of the Court in Company Petition and H.E.C. can get then Rs. 111 Crores but H.E.C. as well as State and ultimately the public is yet to get the fruit of that settlement between the Public Sector Undertaking and the State Government. Therefore, we again reiterate that the H.E.C. as well as the State should act fast to avoid further loss to the public Sector Unit and to the public ultimately.
I.A. No. 2089 of 2011
16. Learned counsel for the SAIL-BSL submitted that there were total 18 quarters/bungalows of the SAIL under occupation of unauthorized occupants and in pursuance of the order of this Court dated 04.07.2011 the names of all those persons have been published in the newspapers on 06.07.2011. Out of 18, six persons have vacated the quarters and as per information received just now, one more person has vacated the quarter.
17. Learned counsel for the SAIL-BSL submitted that he is hopeful that all other will vacate the quarters within a few days only. We appreciate the efforts of the SAIL-BSL as well as we also appreciate the gesture shown by the persons in vacating the quarters immediately after the order of this Court.
18. We hope that rest of the persons shall also vacate the quarters of the SAIL. The SAIL may submit affidavit within a week's time about the progress in getting the quarters vacated from the persons whose names published in the newspapers irrespective of the date given in this case.
19. Learned counsel for the SAIL-BSL also submitted a chart which indicates that total cases to evict the unauthorized occupants were 2081 and out of which in 1393 cases, eviction orders were passed and orders in 1343 cases have been executed and encroachments have been removed. Therefore, there are still 50 encroachers against whom the orders have not been executed. We hope that the SAIL authorities will execute those orders and shall get the premises vacated. In another column, it has been disclosed that 224 cases were lodged and in 13 cases eviction orders were passed and 5 have been executed. This was the position as on 26.06.2011, therefore, as on 27.06.2011 there were 8 orders of eviction remained un-executed. We hope that the process of eviction will be expedited by the SAIL in these matters.
20. Learned counsel for the SAIL-BSL pointed out that this Court on 01.04.2011 passed specific order for removal of the encroachments from the premises of the Bokaro Steel Plant.
21. We perused the order dated 01.04.2011 and we may recapitulate again that on 28.02.2011 this Court registered this Public Interest Litigation No. 1076 of 2011 on finding that serious irregularities are being committed by the Ranchi Regional Development Authorities and Ranchi Municipal Corporation in the matter of unauthorized constructions and giving permission contrary to the law and Rules and thereafter, it was noticed that a news item was published in the Times of India that "If you don't have a place to live in, walk into the city of Bokaro and select a piece of land for yourself" and this fact was taken note of by the Division Bench of this Court in March, 2011. Then on 16.03.2011 this was brought to the notice of this Court that in view of the direction given by Hon'ble Supreme Court in Jagpal Singh Vs. State of Punjab (2011 AIR SCW 990), the State Government is required to prepare an exhaustive scheme for the entire State for removal of the encroachments and on 29.03.2011 the counsel for the BSL (SAIL) informed that process of removal of encroachment is going on from the premises of the B.S.L. and this Court 9 ordered on 29.03.2011 that B.S.L. and the State Government will come out with their proposed action against all those who have alleged to have violated the terms of allotment of land to B.S.L. and so was ordered after taking note of the fact that the B.S.L. itself did not take any step to remove the encroachments from their premises. On 01.04.2011 this Court observed that the State Government and B.S.L. are not only slow but are articulating their submissions before this Court in such a design that the B.S.L. is removing the encroachments, but in fact, they are not removing. This Court observed that "this situation is not satisfactory" and then ordered that affidavit filed by the B.S.L. is not accepted as compliance of the order of this Court. This Court directed the State Government and B.S.L. that they should come out clean. The Court took a strong view and clearly indicated that "If the stand of the authorities continue to be what it is today, then they will be ordered to be proceeded for contempt on the next date of hearing" (Order dated 01.04.2011). Then this Court observed as under "Notwithstanding the aforesaid assurance from the State Government, refusal to remove encroachments in the garb of non assistance by the State Government cannot be appreciated. The allegation that the land has been distributed by the officer to their near and dear would be available to the inferred, and as aforesaid, proceedings will be initiated against the officers of Bokaro Steel Limited". By this order dated 01.04.2011 one I.A. No. 1037 of 2011 filed by the applicants were dismissed.
22. I.A. No. 1037 of 2011 was submitted by 30 persons by stating in para 1 "That the interveners are the residents of Kashmir Colony and Addaquari, Bokaro for taking up their genuine grievance as residents of aforesaid colonies and they apprehend to evident (eviction) from the said colony by the order of this Hon'ble Court without initiating any proceedings or giving any notice by the State". The interveners thereafter stated that on 22.07.2010 there was a meeting between authorities of B.S.L. and representatives of Addaquari and Kashmir Colony with S.D.O. Chas for rehabilitation of 348 families which would be evident from the resolution passed by S.D.O. Chas on 23.07.2010 and copy of this resolution was submitted by those applicants along with I.A. No. 1037 of 2011 as Annexure-1 to the Interlocutory Application.
23. As we have already stated that the said I.A. was rejected by the order dated 01.04.2011 by this Court. These applicants of I.A. No. 1037 of 2011 preferred Special Leave to Appeal (civil) No. 10631 of 2011 before the Hon'ble Apex Court and Hon'ble Apex Court passed the following order on 13.04.2011 while disposing of the said S.L.P. No. 10631 of 2011 :-
"We find no merit in this petition. However, in the interest of justice, we deem it appropriate to give time up to 30th June, 2011 to the petitioners to vacate the premises on their individually filing undertakings before the Registry of this Court within two weeks from today. This order would be of no avail to the petitioners if they do not file undertakings before the Registry of this Court, as directed. The special Leave Petition is disposed of accordingly".
24. A bare perusal of the order of Hon'ble Supreme Court dated 13.04.2011 clearly indicate that the plea of the applicants in I.A. No. 1037 of 2011 was found having no merit by Hon'ble Apex court which has been specifically mentioned in the order by the Supreme Court. Not only this, while disposing of the S.L.P., Hon'ble Supreme Court granted indulgence that the encroachers may vacate the premises by 30the June, 2011 but on their individually filing undertaking before the Registry of Hon'ble Supreme Court within two weeks from the date of order and made it clear that the order of Hon'ble Supreme Court dated 13.04.2011 would be of no avail to the petitioners if they do not file undertaking before the Registry of the Hon'ble Supreme Court as directed in the order dated 13.04.2011. All these facts have been taken note of today again by this Court in continuation of this Court's observations made in order dated 09.06.2011.
25. In continuation to the above, we observe that one another Public Interest Litigation W.P.(PIL) No. 1783 of 2011 is pending wherein specifically the issue of encroachments over the land of four big Public Sector Undertakings namely Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited (H.E.C. Ltd.), Central Coalfields Limited (C.C.L.) Bokaro Steel Limited (B.S.L.) and Bharat Coking Coal Limited (B.C.C.L.) is involved and orders have been passed for removal of encroachments from the premises/properties of those four Public Sector Undertakings. In the said petition W.P.(PIL) No. 1783 of 2011, on 13.06.2011, after considering the contention of the counsel for the SAIL-BSL this Court observed that
" In view of the above reasons, the State is directed to provide adequate support to the B.S.L. so that the order may be implemented and the encroached area may be got vacated and that too without asking any particulars of individual person as it is not necessary that the miscreants will be only persons of that area will be creating problems as the others may also join hands with such miscreants. However, the situation is required to be assessed by the State by having the meeting with the B.S.L. Officers and the resistance which may come in the way of implementing the order is required to be taken care which is the duty of the State. This type of relief is required to be given to all the P.S.Us.(referred above) by the State".
26. The direction issued in the order dated 13.06.2011 in W.P.(PIL) No. 1783 of 2011 is in furtherance to the spirit of the order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court dated 13.04.2011 wherein when the show cause notice for eviction of the unauthorized occupants was sought to be challenged, it was negatived by the Court and any encroacher could have availed the benefit of decision till 30th June, 2011 upon furnishing the undertaking as ordered by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. The process is the same for eviction of all persons and keeping the spirit of the Hon'ble Supreme Court's order as well as in view of the order dated 13.06.2011 and particularly, direction given in that order and quoted above, the State Government is required to do its job in the matter of removal of encroachments from the land of the Public Sector Undertakings.
27. We have passed this detailed order only to reiterate that the removal of encroachments from the premises of the Public Sector Undertakings cannot be tolerated because of any procedural defects and because of only raising voice by miscreants ignoring the public interest and national interest for which the Public Sector Units are paying heavily from the tax payers' money and the Government is using the land for implementation of its scheme.
28. We are not going into the details of the events which occurred during the past uptill today as indicated by the SAIL-BSL which only indicate that the parties i.e. B.S.L. and State Government still could not work out how to implement the orders passed by this Court in consonance with the views expressed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Jagpal Singh Vs. State of Punjab (Supra) and the order passed by this Court in these two Public Interest Litigations. However, we expect that the process will be completed in no time preferably within the month of July, 2011 itself by the B.S.L. and the State Government. We also, on request of the counsel for the State, want to know the contention of the State for which they may file a counter to the I.A. No. 2089 of 2011 which has been filed by the B.S.L. today.
(Prakash Tatia, A.C.J.)
(Jaya Roy, J.)
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Posted: Tue Aug 23 2011, 01:17 hrs Chandigarh:
In a landmark decision, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered that without preparing a land utilization plan no Gram Panchayat in Haryana shall change the use of village common land (shamlat deh) so that it is utilised only for the benefit of the village community.
A single judge bench of Justice Rajive Bhalla also chalked out certain guidelines which a Gram Panchayat in Haryana shall fulfil before changing the user of such land. The direction assumes significance as in the recent past there have been instances where a Gram Panchayat has been accused of entering into an agreement with a private party for changing the user of common land contrary to the laws laid down.
One such instance had recently come to light in the High Court wherein villagers of Ulhawas, Gurgaon, have accused the Haryana government and Gram Panchayat of illegally releasing common land to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.
The directives came while hearing a bunch of petitions filed by Baljinder Singh and others, all residents of different villages in Haryana.
The petitioners had challenged the proposal of their Gram Panchayats to auction land reserved as pasture/grazing grounds for the purpose of cultivation. The petitioners contended that as per a scheme prepared under the East Punjab Holdings Act, 1948, land reserved as grazing grounds/pastures cannot be auctioned for the purpose of cultivation.
The question that arose for adjudication was whether a Gram Panchayat can alter the user of “grazing grounds” for other usage.
Holding that a Gram Panchayat is a legal entity, capable of holding and dealing with its property, the court ruled that “land that has vested in a Gram Panchayat as shamlat deh shall be utilised by the Gram Panchayats without any restrain or fetter on its power to alter its user”.
However, the court made it clear that the power can only be exercised for the benefit of the village community and then also after the preparation of a land utilization plan.
The court said that that the Consolidation Act does not place any impediment on the right of the Gram Panchayat to change the common purpose or user of its land.
However, the court added that while preparing such a plan, a Gram Panchayat shall ensure that land is used for the benefit of the village community.
However, the court made it clear that this order shall not affect any common purpose land that has already been altered or land that has already been sold, exchanged or leased out and shall apply prospectively.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Posted on Aug 09, 2011 - 12:28am by News Team in Haryana
Chandigarh, August 8—Prof. Sampat Singh,MLA from Nalwa Assembly Constituency has demanded that the amendments carried out in the year 2008 by Haryana Government in Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules,1964 should be made effective from November 1,1966 and lease amount at the rate of five per cent of the collector rate per year should be charged on the panchayat land given by various governments to the trusts, societies and institutions as a gift or donation or on nominal prices.
Prof. Sampat Singh, who was addressing a press conference here today, said that the Haryana Government amended Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules,1964 on January 3,2008 and made a provision that panchayats could not be evicted from their land. This important step was taken by the Chief Minister Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda to empower panchayats and create financial resources for them. This also led to transparency. The Chief Minister deserved all praise for this step, he added. He said that the state government should enquire about the use of panchayati land given to the trusts and societies and the allotment of such land should be cancelled in case the land was found to be used by the trust or society for purposes other than it was allotted for.
He said that the Haryana government should enquire that how many trusts, societies or other institutions in the state had been allotted land on lease and a resolution should also be introduced in the Vidhan Sabha to charge lease amount at the rate of five per cent of the collector rate per year on the public land given to the trusts or other institutions since the inception of the Haryana state till date. This can be easily done by implementing the above said amendment of 2008 in Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules,1964 retrospectively since November 1, 1966. In the mean time, the beneficiary trusts or societies or institutes should come forward themselves voluntarily and pay willingly the lease amount at the rate of five per cent of the collector rate per year on the land given to them on lease basis. He also appealed to the opposition leaders to support him on this issue of strengthening the panchayats financially.
He pointed out that a misinformation campaign was being carried out about the land given to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust. Five acres panchayati land had been given to this trust on lease as per rules and on the concurrence of gram panchayat and lease amount at the rate of five per cent of the collector rate per year i.e. Rs. 15 Lac per year was being charged annually from the trust. The collector rate of this land was Rs 60 lakh per acre and village panchayat had earned Rs 30 lakh during the last two years from this land. Early the panchayat had leased the same land on Jun 11, 2004 for five years for a lump sum amount of Rs. 15,200 i.e. Rs. 600 hundred per acre per year. All the trusts and societies of the state should follow Mr Rahul Gandhi who has made full amount of Rs. 15 lacs per year at the rate of five per cent of the collector rate for the land given to the trusts, whereas the land given to the trusts would be used for the good of public, as an eye hospital would be set up on this land. The trust had made provisions for providing free medical care to the BPL families, rebate to the villagers and providing employment to the local people.
Taking a dig at BJP, Prof. Sampat Singh said that BJP leader Mr Raj Nath Singh visited the village Ullawas to take political mileage but he was clueless on being questioned about the panchayat of Sadhrana village in Gurgaon district having gifted 30 kanal and 6 malr of shamlat land to the people for animals society for the construction fo Meneka Gandhi Veterinary Hospital while the BJP was a coalition partner in the state regime. Lashing out at INLD Supremo Mr Om Parkash Chautala, he said that land had also been gifted away to a number of trusts of Chautala family either free or on nominal rates. Inquiry should be made into this matter whether the land is being used for the purpose it was given or for commercial purpose. He asked Mr. Chautala whether he is ready to pay Rs. 3 lacs per acre per year for those panchayat lands owned by the trust of his family members. He said that he himself would seek information from the government of Haryana, Union Territory, Chandigarh and Delhi State etc. about the land given to such trusts under Right to Information Act.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
eLegalix - Allahabad High Court Judgment Information System (Judgment/Order in Text Format)
HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
Chief Justice's Court
Case :- PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION (PIL) No. - 24446 of 2011
Petitioner :- Jai Prakash
Respondent :- State Of U.P. And Others
Petitioner Counsel :- R.N. Yadav
Respondent Counsel :- C.S.C.
Hon'ble Ferdino Inacio Rebello,Chief Justice
Hon'ble Prakash Krishna,J.
Chief Justice's Court
Case :- PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION (PIL) No. - 24446 of 2011
Petitioner :- Jai Prakash
Respondent :- State Of U.P. And Others
Petitioner Counsel :- R.N. Yadav
Respondent Counsel :- C.S.C.
Hon'ble Ferdino Inacio Rebello,Chief Justice
Hon'ble Prakash Krishna,J.
The issue involved in this petition is similar to the issue involved in the case of Faujdar Singh Yadav vs. State of U.P. and others, Public Interest Litigation (PIL) No. 71056 of 2010 decided on 8.12.2010. The only difference is that the subject matter of the petition is not ponds or waterlogged lands but public land. Considering Section 122-B of the U.P.Z.A & L.R. Act, the same directions as set out in Faujdar Singh Yadav (supra) must also be applicable in the case of land covered by Section 122-B of the U.P.Z.A. & L.R. Act.
The Apex Court in the case of Jagpal Singh & Ors. vs. State of Punjab & Ors., JT 2011 (1) SC 617 vide paragraph 22 has issued general directions to all the State Governments.
The said paragraph for the sake of convenience is reproduced below:-
"Before parting with this case we give directions to all the State Governments in the country that they should prepare schemes for eviction of illegal/unauthorized occupants of Gram Sabha/Gram Panchayat/Poramboke/Shamlat land and these must be restored to the Gram Sabha/Gram Panchayat for the common use of villagers of the village. For this purpose the Chief Secretaries of all State Governments/Union Territories in India are directed to do the needful, taking the help of other senior officers of the Governments. The said scheme should provide for the speedy eviction of such illegal occupant, after giving him a show cause notice and a brief hearing. Long duration of such illegal occupation or huge expenditure in making constructions thereon or political connections must not be treated as a justification for condoning this illegal act or for regularizing the illegal possession. Regularization should only be permitted in exceptional cases e.g. where lease has been granted under some Government notification to landless labourers or members of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, or where there is already a school, dispensary or other public utility on the land."
In the light of that, this petition is also disposed of in the same terms.
Petitioner to serve a copy of this order to the respondent no. 3 within two weeks from today.
Order Date :- 27.4.2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
State leases out 230 acres
Firm also to develop water park
Chitleen K Sethi (Tribune News Service)
Chandigarh, May 17: In an unprecedented move, the Punjab government has approved the use of over 230 acres of panchayat land for the development of a golf course by DLF as part of its super mega project coming up in Mullanpur, Mohali.
The state government has promised the company to “help” it get this land on lease from the panchayats of at least 11 villages in which this land falls.
This is for the first time in the state that the government has offered panchayat land to a private builder.
The land for the proposed project is being used by the department of irrigation for a bandh which has been constructed to control the Patiala-ki-Rao choe.
The department has also “very kindly” offered to allow DLF to use its land for the development of a water park for adventure sports. The department will, however, share the revenue earned from the water park by the company.
These decisions were taken during an empowered committee meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on February 23. Water park and a golf course are expected to help the company sell its residential and industrial component. Several eyebrows have been raised regarding the “offer” made by the government. According to sources, the minutes of the meeting were changed twice and finally released only recently.
In the minutes, it has been made clear to the company that it will not own the land, but use it for the specific purpose. The company will pay the lease amount to the panchayats and the government will “coordinate” between the company and the panchayats to complete the process.
“We are not buying this land. We are only developing it for the panchayats at our cost. We do not intend to use it commercially. A golf course will only be a part of a larger green belt and be open to the public at large,” explained Rahul Mehta, executive director, DLF North India.
Interestingly, while empowered committee members seemed to have readily given the nod for such offer, the department of rural development and panchayats is in a fix over how to carry it through.
The Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation) Rules 1964 clearly lay down that the panchayat land can be leased out for 33 years, but only for industrial, commercial, educational and professional purposes. “We are not sure which category does a golf course fall in” said Jagpal Singh Sandhu, principal secretary, department of rural development and panchayats.
The 230 acres of land fall within the area specified as “green belt” in the Mullapur masterplan and cannot be put to any use mentioned in the rulebook.
DLF intends to set up a super mega mixed-use integrated industrial park on 1,250 acres of land in Milak, Mastgarh, Dhanauran, Togan, Tira, Bansenir, Sangalan, Ratwara, Pantpur, Devinagar and Chaharmajra villages within the Mullanpur local planning area with an investment of Rs 2,700 crore.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Published: Saturday, Jun 25, 2011, 21:23 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA
A builder used the public passage in an apartment to construct parking space and then sold each slot for Rs1.5 lakh.
District collectorate undertook demarcation of a plot near Ramnadi, although it was done six years ago. The new demarcation has led to deletion of the green belt.
The Centre had issued orders to not allow constructions within 500 yards from strategically important High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) but the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) gave permission for such construction.
These are some of the serious cases of encroachment in public spaces and violation of rules in the city that were reported to the Public Commission of Inquiry (PCI).
The PCI, headed by former Supreme Court justice PB Sawant, has been conducting inquiry into the problems of unauthorised construction and encroachment as well as non-implementation of the 1987 development plan (DP) of the city.
Nagrik Chetna Manch (NCM) and Surajya Sangharsh Samiti (SSS) had formed the PCI in October 2010.
Complainants, respondents and the PMC are sent notices for hearing.
NCM president Maj Gen (retd) SCN Jatar said the civic body has been cooperating with the commission in its working.
A complainant reported to the commission that a builder was constructing parking space for four-wheelers on a 6m-wide concretised passage, which covers water tanks and drainage lines. In the approved construction layout, the space used for parking was marked as open space or passage. Although the construction of parking lots was illegal, the builder was selling it for Rs1.5 lakh each to flat owners.
When the PCI took up the matter, the builder said that it had not sold a flat to any person in whose name the complaint was filed.
But the commission noted that the builder has not denied the substance of the complaint. It asked the PMC to confirm that there is no violation of development control (DC) rules. The case was closed as the civic body took action and removed the sheds for car parking.
In another case, a citizen filed a complaint to the commission about encroachments at various places in Bavdhan Khurd in the Ramnadi area. The district collectorate carried out the demarcation of one plot in 2003, although it was already done in 1997.
The PMC accepted the 2003 demarcation without investigating the reasons for change in the landscape. The change in landscape on paper resulted in deletion of the green belt adjoining Ramnadi and encroachment by about 9,000 square feet.
The complainant also pointed out that there is an encroachment on the cremation ground and the nala no 13 has been filled and encroached upon. The commission adjourned the hearing on the matter till August 2011 as all the respondents could not be present.
A complaint was heard about permission for construction being given by the PMC in Ramnagar Colony, Bavdhan, although the Centre had issued a notification in 2002 prohibiting construction in area up to 500 yards (457.2 m).
The complainant said that the PMC gave permission in three cases for construction despite the Central notification. The construction was carried on in all cases and it had unauthorised occupation was also within the PMC knowledge. ]
After conducting the hearing in March 2011, the PCI asked for related information from the PMC. The civic body has provided the most of the information and the hearing is now scheduled for August 2011.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Published: Friday, Jul 8, 2011, 11:44 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
Expressing serious concern over vanishing tanks and lakes in Bangalore, the high court on Thursday directed the government to clear encroachments on all tank and lake beds in and around the city.
The court also directed the government to provide rehabilitation to those who have been provided housing under the Ashraya scheme in these tank beds. The HC was hearing a petition filed by the Environment Support Group about the preservation, rejuvenation, encroachments and other issues pertaining to the lakes, questioning their privatisation.
The high court had on April 7 directed a committee to look into the privatisation of lakes to monitor the tasks like identification and removal of the unauthorised constructions around the lake beds in the city within three months and submit the report to the court.
It had formed a committee consisting of the commissioners of the BBMP and BDA, the KSPCB chairman the Lake Development Authority secretary and the chairman of the legal services committee, among others.
The panel submitted its progress report. It was taken on record by the court when the case came up for hearing before a division bench comprising chief justice JS Khehar and justice HG Ramesh.
The bench then observed that it was apparent from the report that there were 182 lakes or tanks in and around Bangalore that needed to be looked after and preserved.
“We are satisfied that the financial burden for the preservation of the lakes should be borne by the BDA, BBMP and state government in equal proportions. The state government shall provide separate budgetary allocation keeping in mind the amount earmarked by the BDA and BBMP for the ongoing works,” the court observed.
It further observed, “We are also informed that on some lakes or tank beds houses have been built by the state government under the Ashraya scheme. The houses have been allotted to the houseless and site-less individuals belonging to the lowest strata of the society, free of costs. It is clear that it should not have been done; it is wholly unauthorised.”
The court then directed the state government to provide alternative housing for such persons in a phased manner. The bench also requested the high-powered committee of the legal services committee to suggest parameters with regards to limits of commercial inroads in the matter of rejuvenation of lakes.
This would help in formulating a policy on public-private partnership and also fee to be charged on general public who want to enjoy the benefits of rejuvenation.
The committee is required to frame separate framework for PPP without commercial interest and also cases where it is solely based on commercial interest.
The bench then adjourned the case to October 12.