The Honourable Supreme Court of India gave a historic judgement paving the way for protection of the commons across the country on 28th January 2011. This came in connection to the hearing on the Civil Appeal No. 1132/2011 @SLP(C) No. 3109/2011. This blog is aimed to collate all possible information related to the judgement. For views and comments write to firstname.lastname@example.org
SRINAGAR: The High Court on Wednesday directed the state
government to take action in accordance with law for clearing over 650 kanals
of kahcharie (pasture land) from encroachments in Zakuro, Gulab Bagh and Bhagat
Shura areas on the outskirts of Srinagar.
Disposing of a petition filed by a person named Peer
Noor-ul-Haq, a single bench of Justice Ramallingam Sudhakar directed the
competent authority— Tehsildar Hazratbal Srinagar— to take action in the matter
as soon as possible.
In his petition Peer had stated that the 650-kanal pasture
land in these areas had been occupied by a land ‘mafia’ that claimed to be the
owner of the land and had constructed permanent structures on it.
Peer cited a reply received through Right to Information Act
as proof that the land was pasture land owned by the government.
The RTI reply revealed that 459 kanals of land as per the
‘Jamobandi’ 1954-60 and in 2010-11, situated at Zakura and Gulab Bagh, had been
encroached upon. Another piece of pasture land of 194 kanals and 7 marlas at
Estate Bhagat Shura Srinagar had also been occupied.
Peer said that he approached the revenue department for
taking necessary action to evict the encroachers from the land. He complained
to the court that the authorities failed to do their statutory duty. The
inaction by the authorities prompted him to file a petition before the court to
protect the precious state land.
In his plea, Peer urged the court to order revenue
authorities to do their duty by evicting the land mafia from the pasture land
they have illegally occupied. The court granted his plea.
“In view of the relief sought by the petitioner, Tehsildar
Hazratbal Srinagar/ competent authority is directed to consider the nature of
complaint filed by the petitioner and take action in the matter in accordance
with law as expeditiously as possible,” the court said.
The Supreme Court in Jagpal Singh and others vs State of
Punjab and others, 2011, had laid down that illegalities committed in nature of
usurpation of common lands of village communities cannot be regularised and the
common interest of the villagers cannot be made to suffer merely because the
unauthorised occupation has subsisted for many years.
The SC had directed the chief secretaries of all the states
to formulate schemes for eviction of illegal and unauthorised occupants of land
owned by gram sabhas, gram panchayats, shamilat land for the common use of