Monday, July 22, 2013

'Moti Dongor demolition case judgment by next week'

TNN Jul 20, 2013, 02.54AM IST

MARGAO: The comunidades of Margao and Aquem have submitted their say in the slum demolition case, thereby paving the way for the administrator of comunidades to deliver the judgment in the case pertaining to demolition of the illegal structures at MotiDongor and Tolsanzor.

The comunidades, in their say, have countered all the claims made by the slum dwellers and raised objections to the demands for regularization of their structures, sources informed. Confirming this, administrator of comunidades Sangita Naik said that she will deliver the judgment in the case by next week.

At the recent hearings conducted by the administrator of comunidades, the affected slum dwellers had pleaded for regularization of their structures. The Moti Dongor residents had pointed out that the area where their structures stand has been notified as a slum area by the government and pleaded they should be rehabilitated in case the authorities decide to demolish the slums. The Tolsanzor residents had sought protection from demolition of their slums on the grounds that their applications for regularization of structures made to the district collector in 2002 were still pending.

Sources said that the comunidades of Margao and Aquem have taken strong exception to claims for regularization, citing a Supreme Court judgment in July 2011, in the case of Jagpal Singh vs state of Punjab and others.

The Supreme Court, in the said case, had come down heavily on encroachments on common lands in village communities in India, and inter-alia directed state governments 'to prepare schemes for speedy eviction of illegal/unauthorized occupants of such lands after giving a show-cause notice and brief hearing'. While dismissing the appeal filed by the appellant against the state of Punjab, the court observed thus: "Long duration of such illegal occupation or huge expenditure in making constructions thereon or political connections must not be treated as justification for condoning this illegal act or for regularizing the illegal possession." Chief secretaries of all states were directed to submit compliance report.

The then chief secretary Sanjay Srivastava had sworn an affidavit in the Supreme court assuring the court that 'the state has in place the appropriate enactments to remove encroachments from the lands belonging to the government or local authority or a comunidade'.

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