Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Encroachments cleared in Jaisalmer

Vimal Bhatia, TNN|May 28, 2013, 03.51 AM IST

JAISALMER: Approximately 150 encroachments were removed from the government land at the Amarsagar gram panchayat adjoining Jaisalmer on Monday. The administration using JCB machine demolished houses and other constructions.

A large number of policemen were deployed at the spot. The villagers showed a lot of protest and the administration was even pressurized to stop the drive but they paid no heed and cleared all the illegal encroachments on government land.

The move came after complaints were received about the encroachments and demonstrations by the people of Mali community.

Acting on orders from senior officers, the administration sprung into action and cleared the encroachments. ADM Parshuram Dhanka, ASP Ram Singh Meena, sarpanch Bhojraj Mali, nayab tehsildar Peetambardas Rathi and a large number of policemen were present. Four JCB machines were used to demolish encroachments.

Amarsagar panchayat samiti included within the limits of UIT had a lot of encroachments and dozens of pucca houses were made on the government land. Land had also been encroached by making boundary walls around it.

The drive started at 6am and continued till late evening.

Copyright © 2013 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

CAG finds Gujarat's public land policy poor, suggests immediate reforms

Kapil Dave, TNN Apr 4, 2013, 03.56AM IST

GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat government has come in for major criticism from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India over serious lapses in its management of public land. In its report tabled in the assembly on Tuesday, the CAG suggested immediate law and policy corrections to prevent a loss of hundreds of crores to the public exchequer every year and rooting out large-scale corruption.

In its major audit observations in a few select cases, the CAG pointed that due to illegal practices of revenue department officials, the government has lost more than Rs 747 crore in just one year.

Lack of uniformity and transparency in allotment
The CAG report clearly says that its scrutiny of land allotment records during 2006-11 revealed that no orders or instructions were issued by the revenue department for determining qualifications of allottees or for inviting applications. Instead, allotments were considered in respect of only those who applied.
"The prices were fixed by various committees; the norms prescribed for fixing the price of land were found to be unrealistic in some cases. It was also observed that these norms were not adhered to in some cases. Thus, there was no uniformity in fixing prices of lands alienated," the report says.
Inadequate maintenance of records
The prime audit agency in the country held the revenue department responsible for not having consolidated data of alienated and un-alienated land, status of the alienation proposals received from collectors besides approved, rejected and pending cases.
During a test check of records in the offices of revenue officials in 2011-12, the CAG found under-assessment of tax and other irregularities worth Rs 183.40 crore in just 136 cases. It pointed out that actual receipts from 2007-08 to 2010-11 showed an increasing trend while it declined in 2011-12 by 17.42% over the previous year.
Short recovery of occupancy price
The CAG report has pointed towards undervaluation of government land due to incorrect computation of market value of land and non-recovery of additional market value for allotment of grazing land that resulted in short recovery of occupancy price of Rs 36.49 crore in 29 cases.
The report says Larsen & Toubro Limited was allotted government land for the manufacture of super critical steam generators and a forging shop for the nuclear power plant. The price of the land was fixed by DLVC instead of SLVC rates, which resulted in revenue losses of Rs 128.71 crore. It also says that allotment of land at concessional prices to two ineligible trusts resulted in undue benefits to them and subsequent short recovery of occupancy price by Rs 25.05 crore.
The CAG report points, "The delay in regularization of encroached government land coupled with levy of ad-hoc penalty at lesser rates in the case of Essar Steel Company Ltd. resulted in short recovery of Rs 238.50 crore."
"Government land was not utilized for the purpose it was allotted for, and conditions of allotment were breached in five cases. The departmental officials either failed to detect the cases or did not take corrective actions to vacate the land," the report says.

© 2013 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved

Friday, May 17, 2013

In the Other Courts: Rajasthan High Court

Villagers Of Gram Panchayat vs Chief Secretary State Of Raj Ors on 2 November, 2011
In the High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan
Jaipur Bench


Civil Writ Petition No.9901/2011
Villagers of Gram Panchayat Gothara
Versus Chief Secretary State & Ors
Date of Order ::: 02/11/2011
Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ajay Rastogi
Mr. Manoj Kr. Choudhary, for petitioner
Mr. Zakir Hussain, Addl. Govt. Counsel for respondents-2 to 4

Petitioner has approached this Court with the grievance that encroachments are being made over pasture land but no action has been taken by the District Collector authority despite judgment dt.26/01/2011 of the Apex Court in SLP(C) No.3109/2011 (Jagpal Singh & Ors Vs. State of Punjab & Ors). Counsel has also furnished details of such encroachments over pasture/siwai chak land, alongwith instant petition. It also appears that reply to the writ petition has been filed by respondents-2 to 4and a list has been furnished along with the reply from which it is clear that encroachments have been made over pasture/siwai chak land to be more particular, over Khasra Nos.110 measuring 5.6 hectares and Khasra No.244 in village Gothara Tehsil Nadoti district Karauli. Government counsel further submits that the petitioner is also encroacher over pasture land, for which dispute has been raised in the instant petition. Nobody is entitled to seek shelter atleast from this Court in discretionary jurisdiction if he is encroacher including petitioner, if so. Before proceeding further, this Court considers it appropriate to direct the respondents to remove all encroachments including if made by petitioners over the land in question after adopting due process of law; and submit its report duly attested by the Collector, Karauli alongwith affidavit. List for orders on 12/12/2011 as prayed.

(Ajay Rastogi), J.



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Anti-trespass team formed by district magistrate

TNN Apr 30, 2013, 02.40AM IST 

NOIDA: Alarmed by widespread encroachment of pastures, reservoirs, ponds and graveyards owned by village councils, the district magistrate has constituted a committee to deal with the issue. The committee also includes several senior officials of the district administration, revenue department and the SSP. 

The move comes after repeated complaints that people were illegally filling up water bodies and selling them. Earth-filling, encroachment and occupying land or water bodies are prohibited and could invite penal action, an official said.

The DM, Kumar Ravikant Singh has instructed district officials to create awareness amongst the people about the widespread encroachment. "We are taking steps for strict implementation for protection of not only the water bodies but also the graveyards," the official said. The DM further urged people to inform the district administration about any incident of earth-filling or encroachment. He said people should talk to the revenue circle officers in their respective areas to check encroachment. 

According to officials, many water bodies in the district have either been encroached upon by land sharks or are being used for dumping garbage, bathing site of domestic animals or drying up due to poor management.

Through a letter to the district officials, the DM has said that immediate action should be taken to deal with the issue. He has also asked officials to conduct a detailed survey and draw up a complete list of such encroached areas in the district and details of any action taken against such encroachment in the past. Officials have also been instructed to take a video and photographs of the action taken against the encroachment. "This information will then be forwarded to the government within the next three months," Singh said. "Those found to be involved in land grabbing would be severely dealt with and penalised for violating norms," said Singh.

© 2013 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

HC gets assurance from Punjab govt

The law is going to come down on anyone who encroaches on village Shamlat land in Punjab. And not only will the encroacher face action, the concerned officers of the Revenue and Consolidation Departments will face action too. Punjab Financial Commissioner, Revenue N.S. Kang submitted an affidavit to this effect to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday.

Responding to recommendations of the Special Tribunal on Government and Shamlat land, the Punjab government has submitted an affidavit to the Punjab and Haryana High Court pledging strict action against officers of the Revenue and Consolidation Departments who abet encroachment on shamlat land. The affadavit also stated that there was no need to conduct a CBI investigation. The recommendations are the outcome of the yet to be completed land-grab inquiry conducted by retired Supreme Court Justice Kuldeep Singh. The first installment of the inquiry report was submitted to the High Court in March this year. In it, Justice Kuldeep Singh affirmed that huge chunks of land in periphery of Chandigarh in Punjab had either been already grabbed or was being grabbed – mainly by highly influential persons including senior government officers. He recommended a CBI probe among other things.

The Punjab government in its affidavit filed on Monday stated that special officers with powers to deal with cases relating to illegal occupation, acquisition and alienation of Shamlat and other categories of land would be appointed in each district. Special attorneys to deal with land dispute cases would also be appointed in each district. The Punjab government also informed that all cases of land related frauds, identified by special tribunal would be reopened.

In a hearing in March, the High Court bench directed the Punjab Revenue Secretary to file a report as to whether or not two advocates who are members of the Enquiry Tribunal were in fact attending the Tribunal office. Justice Kuldeep Singh informed the government that it is not possible to lay down any fixed procedure or routine for the functions of members and chairman. He wrote: “Without going into arithmetic of days, I say that tribunal is functioning satisfactory towards accomplishing the work entrusted to it by High Court”. The government accordingly informed the High Court in an affidavit submitted on Monday.