Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Claim for Commons: Goa-I (Naval occupation of Dabolim area)


January SC judgement makes Naval occupation of Dabolim area illegal


Andre Antonio Pereira has been a lone voice in the wilderness fighting the good fight to get the Navy out of communidade lands. Now a Supreme Court judgement in January 2011 proves him right. The government and other agencies cannot acquire community land, or Communidade land as the case is in Goa. Read it slowly. This is a highly educative letter.

Revenue lands which are privately owned can be acquired. Not community lands belonging to villages.

This system has been followed even before the State was formed. Community property has been respected for centuries by all the rulers of Goa including the Portuguese. It is only the Democratic Republic of India post Liberation, that has pulverized the backbone of Goa.

Pereira has been consistently ignored by the powers that be. He writes one more letter to the Chief Secretary of Goa and now he has the Supreme Court Judgement on his side.

The H’ble Chief Secretary,
Government of Goa,

Sub: Illegal occupation of land for Dabolim Airport and around belonging to the Village Communities of Mormugao, Vaddem, Chicalim and Issorsim by Indian Navy.

Ref: Judgment of Supreme Court of India passed on 28.01.2011 in Civil Appeal No.1132/2011 @ SLP (C) No.3109/2011.


Please be informed of the following:

1. That the undersigned had complained to your good self with brief information on the subject matter, letter dated 31.12.2007 to show how the Indian Navy/Defence Authorities are in illegal possession of the land. The copies of the said letter also stands endorsed to the concerned Naval Flag Officer, Commanding, Goa Area. There is no response to this letter from any source till date.

2. That by letter dated 25.09.2010 also informed your good self that the land covering the Dabolim Airport and or its runway and the land around it, is not the kind of land or property defined and or expressed under the Article 31A of the Constitution of India and that land in question is situated within the boundary limits of autonomous and or absolute private villages of the above named Communities and where landlordism is totally absent, not being Revenue Villages of the State Government. The copy of the said letter was also endorsed to the concerned the Defence/Military Estates Officer, Panaji, Goa. There is no response to this letter from any source till date.

3. That pending the response to the above complaint, and when the undersigned learnt that the concerned Naval/Defence authorities are seeking to acquire more land belonging to the undersigned near about the said Dabolim Airport, issued notice on the concerned Revenue Secretary by letter dated 25.10.2010 challenging any such move.

4. That the undersigned also informed His Excellency, The Governor of Goa by letter dated 14.12.2010 about the illegal state of affairs in Goa under the colour of Constitution of India.

5. That the copies of all the above letters are annexed hereto for ready reference along with the copies of letters dated 6.08.1973, 9.07.1981 and 13.04.1981 from the concerned Assist. Defence/Military Estates Officer, Panjim, Goa to the concerned Deputy Colletor of Goa, Margao and also the copy of letter dated 23.10.1989 from the concerned Deputy Collector and S.D.O, Margao to the concerned Asstt. Defence Estates Officer, Panaji, Goa. The contents of all these letters are self explanatory.

6. That the land belonging to the Village Community of Mormugao and or the Comunidade of Mormugao pertains to the undersigned being one of its constituents and whereas the State or its State Government is under age old Testamentary contractual obligation not to cause any prejudice to the existing Village Communities of Goa, that includes the above named Village Communities and also under the obligation to provide from time to time State’s administrative guardianship or Tutelage to undo all illegalities and irregularities in the functioning of the system, besides removing all encroachments and trespass from any source over their land.

7. The above referred Judgment of the Supreme Court of India foresees the existence of all the various Village Communities of India but holding of the village lands in common by virtue of State grant. The undersigned therefore, seeks compliance from your end to evict the Naval/Defence authorities from the illegal occupation of Community lands.

8. The Village communities of Goa are absolute owners of their respective land in the given village and meant for common benefit of those concerned but do not hold any land in the said Villages by State grant as the case elsewhere in India. This is for the reasons that their existence is acknowledged since prior in time to the concept of State itself and that none of the age old Rulers nor the Portuguese Rulers in Goa have caused any person to dispose and or encroach upon the land belonging to the said villages and nor interfered with their republic characteristics.

That the undersigned therefore, keeps your good self informed, that he shall be constrained to report the matter to the Supreme Court of India, in the event the Naval/Defence authorities are not evicted from the land belonging to the above named Village Communities and or if the above complaint dated 31.12.2007 stands ignored.

Yours Sincerely,
Andre Antonio Pereira

1 comment:

  1. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-02-02/goa/28367621_1_comunidades-andre-pereira-absolute-owners

    Comunidades hail Supreme Court order

    TNN Feb 2, 2011, 02.36am IST

    PANAJI: The Association of Componentes of Comunidades (ACC) in Goa has hailed the Supreme Court order declaring transfer of village community land for private and commercial use as illegal.

    "The order is well-fitting within the scope of law. It's perfect and fits with the Code of Comunidades," says Andre Pereira of the ACC.

    The Supreme Court on Monday declared transfer of village community land for private and commercial use as illegal and directed the states to take immediate steps to evict encroachers.

    It directed the state governments to prepare schemes for eviction of illegal occupants of village community land and restore them back for the purpose it was originally meant for.

    The scheme must provide for speedy eviction, it said. "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," said a bench comprising Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra. The order is applicable with retrospective effect.

    Says Pereira: "No comunidade land can be given for commercial use. The government has permitted such violations in Serula comunidade, Vasco, Chicalim and many other places. It is now up to the state government to undo the wrong it has committed to the comunidades."

    "The government is under contractual obligation to provide a full-fledged administrator at the cost of the comunidade. Instead, it has been deputing part-timers who obey the commands of the revenue minister or any minister rather than the comunidade he is meant to administer. This is despite comunidades being absolute owners of land. Land is not granted by the state and so comunidade villages are not revenue villages. Where there is no state grant, the state has no right - through the collector or the PDA - to determine land purpose. However, state authorities, including panchayats, municipalities, collectors and the town and country planning department, act without any powers to issue permissions of NOCs," said Pereira.

    It may be recalled that the indigenous people known as 'Gaonkars', established institutions since times immemorial called 'Gaonkaria' which the Portuguese government addressed as 'Comunidades'. The Gaonkari is constituted to carry out sovereign functions such as those listed under Article 39 of the Constitution of India. They professed these functions since inception for the common and joint welfare of the society in the particular locality developed by Gaonkars at their own cost. These functions mostly consist of providing welfare measures to upkeep healthy standards of living and harmony in the society within the jurisdiction of the Gaonkari.