Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In Other Courts : Towards Saving Goa's Comunidade Tenanted arable Lands from Land Sharks and Concretizers


IN THE HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY AT GOA
PANjim - GOA

WRIT PETITION No. [stamp No. 3602] 2011

Shri. Floriano Conceicao Lobo,
r/o H. No. 173, Pirazona, Moira, Bardez, Goa. ……..…… PETITIONER

V/s

1. State of Goa through it’s
Chief Secretary, Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa.

2. Shri. Raojee S. Rane,
s/o Shivram Rane, Major of age,
r/o Ravindra Building, Flat No. F-2,
Bablo Naik Colony,
St. Inez, Panjim-Goa.

3. Shri. Govind Naik Kinlekar,
s/o late Rama Govind Naik Kinlekar,
major of age,

4. Smt. Sharmila Rama Naik Kinlekar,
w/o Shri. Rama Govind Naik Kinlekar,
major of age,

5. Shri. Ulhas Govind Naik Kinlekar,
s/o late Govind Rama Naik Kinlekar,
major of age,

6. Smt. Saoj Ulhas naik Kinlekar,
w/o Ulhas Govind Naik Kinlekar,
major of age,

7. Shri. Anil Govind Naik Kinlekar,
s/o late Govind Rama Naik Kinlekar,
major of age,
all r/o H.No. 168/2, Alto Dhuler Dangui Colony,
Mapusa.

8. Comunidade of Mapusa,
Represented by its Attorney,
Having its Office at Comunidade Ghor,
Mapusa, Bardez-Goa.

9. Administrator, Comunidades of Bardez,
Altinho, Mapusa.

10. Chief Officer, Mapusa Municipal Council,
Mapusa, Bardez-Goa.

11. Smt. Hirabai Pandurang Oble Vaigankar,
r/o Ansabhat, Mapusa.

12. Shri. Oscar Jeronimo Maximo De Souza,
r/o Kamarkhazan, Mapusa Bardez Goa.

13. Smt. Marlin D’Souza,
r/o of Kamarkhazan, Mapusa Bardez Goa.

14. Mamlatdar of Bardez,
Govt. Complex, Mapusa Bardez Goa.

………………RESPONDENTS



SYNOPSIS

The Comunidades of Goa which were otherwise known as Gaonkaries, are the community land holdings existing since the 11th Century A.D. sustained and managed for agrarian purposes for the benefit of the people of the community. These agricultural lands were allotted to the community members or to others only for agricultural purposes on payment of the rent in cash or in kind [known as [Shidau] with a condition that the allotted on three year leases lands must be cultivated every year failing which these lands would be re-possessed by the Comunidades and re-allotted to other persons who would cultivate. And therefore, no such agricultural lands belonging to the Comunidades of Goa were left fallow or allowed to be left fallow. The crops that were cultivated were mainly ‘paddy’ during the monsoon season and where there was steady flow of water during non monsoon season the paddy was grown as ‘vaimgon’ meaning ‘karif crops’. The other crops that were cultivated were various types of vegetables like onions, chillies, long-beans sweet potatoes, mistle toes ( tendlis) etc etc not forgetting water melons and such like fruits.

The Tenancy Act of 1964 dispossessed the Comunidades of Goa of it’s agricultural land holdings ostensibly so that the agriculturists would take more interest in the cultivation and consequently the agricultural produce would increase and gave deemed ownership to the last registered tenants of the Comunidades. Instead however, the tenants chose to leave the lands fallow and agriculture of Goa suffered its worst. This trend of keeping the good and productive agricultural lands of Goa fallow had made this state totally dependent on the agricultural produce from the neighbouring states.

These lands were not only kept fallow, but it became easy with active collaboration of Mamlatdars for these deemed owners to convert these lands to other uses namely for construction purposes and sell them to the builders and developers at exorbitant rates claiming that these lands were not suitable for agriculture. The successive Governments of Goa have been complicit in this fraud on the Comunidades of Goa which have reduced its land holdings to mere skeletal proportions.

The case in point in this Petition is just one such instance where perfectly good arable lands in the cited two instances have gone to the builder/developer defrauding the age-old Community Association of Mapusa with connivance from insiders who are in charge and/or are the elected bodies having the responsibility of running this Association on behalf of the Community members and share-holders.

This Petition has taken recourse of the decision of the Supreme Court Judgment in the Civil Appeal No. 1132/2011 @SLP© No.3109/2011 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) CC No. 19869 of 2010 as a precedent and feels that this judgment has come to the rescue of the Community served by the Comunidades of Goa so that the Community lands may not be ravaged and appropriated through frauds and criminal take-overs for selfish gains of the vested interests.

For this reason, this Writ Petition may be admitted and justice to the Community not only be done but must be seen to be done.

This Petitioner is a Gaunkar/member of the Comunidade of Moira, the village neighbouring the Village/City of Mapusa and therefore cannot see, tolerate and/or condone this daylight robbery of the Community’s arable land holdings.

To make my point that arable lands in Goa are at the mercy of Land Sharks where the community lands are even not spared I take the liberty to annex hereto the latest edition of the fortnightly ‘Goan Observer’s statistical report in its November 12-18 2011 edition which shows how arable lands and therefore agriculture in the State of Goa is facing the axe from the Land Shark in Goa.
………… Exhibit JJJ (1 to 3) Colly


Petitioner
Date: 17/Nov/2011
Place: Panjim


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