Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Srinagar Municipal Corporation major beneficiary of land title fraud



Revenue Minister orders inquiry

Posted on by Dailyexcelsior
Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Apr 12: The Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Bashir Ahmad Khan, is the major beneficiary of change of title fraud of 700 kanals of land that has taken place in Kulgam district of South Kashmir.

According to investigations conducted into title fraud of 700 kanals of land in village Gudder in the South Kashmir district of Kulgam, the SMC Commissioner is the major beneficiary. The inquiry report lying with the Raj Bhawan says that Khan is the major beneficiary of the change of title fraud and 92 kanals of grazing land have been shown on  his name.

The land settlement in the village was completed in 2013 and six months ago, residents of the village reported the fraud to the district administration. After preliminary inquiry, it was found that 530 kanals of grazing land was shown as proprietary land of some people of the village including Khan.  Besides this some of the proprietary land of people was also shown as proprietary land of top 10 beneficiaries.

Soon after the preliminary inquiry, Governor N N Vohra had sought a detailed report after which several Revenue officials were attached to the Divisional Commissioner’s office in Srinagar. However, no action was taken against Khan and he was posted as Commissioner SMC.

Meanwhile, Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Syed Basharat Bukhari today took serious note of the change of title of 700 kanals of land in Kulgam district and directed the Settlement Commissioner to enquire into the matter and submit a factual report within 45 days to the Government.

The direction in this regard was given by the Minister while chairing a high level meeting of the officers of Revenue Department convened to review the status of settlement operations and computerization of land records in the State.

The Minister also directed Financial Commissioner Revenue to submit the report of 6 villages, 3 each in Srinagar and Jammu, where settlement and digitization of revenue records has been already completed on pilot. He also instructed that revenue record in 866 villages should be kept on web site for information of the people.

Financial Commissioner Revenue, Pramod Jain, Commissioner/ Secretary Revenue, Mohammad Afzal, Settlement Commissioner, Regional Director Land Records and Survey, Deputy Commissioner Central besides other concerned senior officers attended the meeting.

The Minister underscored the need for strengthening of Settlement organisation and asked the concerned authorities to come with a proposal keeping in view the futuristic plans of the Department.

The Minister expressed displeasure over the lapse of Rs 16 crore meant for settlement besides maintenance of revenue records under Computerization of Land Records Scheme. He directed the funds to the tune of Rs 45 core sanctioned by the Centre under Digital India Land Modernization Programme (DILRMP) should be utilized strictly for settlement and computerization of land records.

The Minister said in first phase the settlement work of Srinagar and Jammu districts would be completed and asked the RAM Tech India which have been entrusted with the Digitization of land records work to expedite its efforts and ensure completion of the job in fixed time frame. He said that he will personally monitor the progress of settlement fortnightly, adding that the settlement of other districts would be taken in second and third phase in the State.

The Revenue Minister exhorted upon the officers to adhere to the timeline of settlement targets and contribute in the preparation of reliable revenue records making devotion and integrity benchmark of the functioning

Bukhari said the settlement operation is fundamental in the land management system adding that meticulous preparation of Records of Rights not only facilitates resolution of land disputes but also minimizes land wrangles and conflicts.

Financial Commissioner Revenue gave a detailed over view on the settlement and computerization of land records in the State. He apprised that 4717 villages were taken up for settlement operation in the State and of which 2257 villages were measured besides Right of records of 1906 villages deposited and revenue records of 866 villages were computerized in the State.

http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/smc-comm-major-beneficiary-land-title-fraud/

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

In Other Courts: Rinkesh Goyal Vs State of Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh High Court

Rinkesh Goyal Vs State of Madhya Pradesh

10 March 2011

Hon'ble Judges: S.K.Gangele,Brij Kishore Dube


Advocates Appeared: K.S. Shrivastava, and Sunil Jain, appears as amicus curie in the matter. For State M.P.S. Raghuvanshi, Add. A.G. and Deepak Khot, Govt. Adv. For intervenor D.D. Bansal.

Case Number: Writ Petition (PIL) No. 2708 of 2005


As per S.K. Gangele, J.:-
1. This writ petition has been registered on the basis of a post-card received in the Registry from one Rinkesh Goyal resident of Gandhi Chowk, Shivpuri. In the aforesaid post-card the writer has informed the Court about descending water level at Shivpuri and encroachments over land of the lakes and tanks situated at District Shivpuri. Thereafter, this Court issued various interim orders in regard to the problem and the respondents have generously co-operated with the Court and filed affidavit and also compliance reports.

2. It has been mentioned in the compliance report that there are 1069 tanks and lakes at Shivpuri District and only some parts of the land of the tanks and lakes of Shivpuri town there are encroachment and rest of the tanks and lakes are free from encroachment. The details and particulars of the ponds and tanks situated at Shivpuri city have also been mentioned.

3. On behalf of Secretary, Department of Revenue, Government of Madhya Pradesh, an affidavit has been filed. It is mentioned in the affidavit that under Section 251 of the M.P. Land Revenue Code, 1959, tanks vest with the Stale Government and subsequently vide order dated 26-1-2001 the management of ponds/tanks have been handed over to Gram Sabha and in urban areas management of tanks and ponds have been handed over to local bodies, viz., Nagar Panchayats vide orders dated 19-9-1994 and 26-1-2001.

4. Another compliance report has been filed on 15-2-2006 on behalf of Secretary, Department of Revenue. Along with the compliance report a copy of chart has been filed in regard to situation of tanks and ponds of all. Districts of State of Madhya Pradesh. As per the aforesaid chart there are encroachments over some ponds and tanks, however, those encroachments are not in alarming state. Independently, the Collector, District Morena has also filed compliance report mentioning the fact that the encroachments over tanks and ponds in the urban area as well as in rural areas have been removed and all the tanks and ponds are being properly conserved and maintained. The Collectors, Districts Shivpuri and Vidisha, have also filed compliance reports mentioning same facts.

5. Learned Amicus Curiae, appointed by the Court, has submitted that due to improper conservation of tanks and ponds in the State the water level is going down. It has further been submitted by the learned Amicus Curiae that the situation of water level is at an alarming stage and hard steps had to be taken by the concerned authorities and persons who are responsible for that in accordance with law to ensure proper conservation of ponds arid lakes.

6. Learned Additional Advocate General has also supported the cause and submitted that the State has taken all steps to conserve and maintain the ponds and lakes in their original state. It has further been submitted that the State has further taken specific steps in order to improve ground level water and introduced various schemes in regard to conservation of water which is precious natural resource and one of the essential element for life at the planet.

7. The natural resources are assets of entire nation as well as planet. There is no dispute in regard to the fact that water is one of the essential resources necessary for existence of life on the earth. Hon'ble the Supreme Court in T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad Vs. Union of India and others, (2006) 1 SCC 1, has specifically emphasized the need and it is the obligation of all the persons including Government to conserve and not waste these resources and observed as under :-
"Natural resources are the assets of the entire nation. It is the obligation of all concerned, including the Union Government and State Governments to conserve and not waste these resources. Article 48-A of the Constitution requires that the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forest and wildlife of the country. Under Article. 51-A, it is the duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures."

8. Hon'ble the Supreme Court further in the case of Jagpal Singh and others Vs. State of Punjab and others, 2011 AIR SCW 990, has held, as under, in regard to management and conservation of water resources :-

"16. The present is a case of land recorded as a village pond. This Court in Hinch Lal Tiwari Vs. Kamala Devi, AIR 2001 SC 3215 (followed by the Madras High Court in L Krishnan Vs. State of Tamil Nadu, 2005 4 CYC 1 (Madras) = AIR 2005 Mad. 331, held that land recorded as a pond must not be allowed to be allotted to anybody for construction of a house or any allied purpose. The Court ordered the respondents to vacate the land they had illegally occupied, after taking away the material of the house. We pass a similar order in this case.

17. In this connection we wish to say that our ancestors were not fools. They knew that in certain years there may be droughts or water shortages for some other reason, and water was also required for cattle to drink and bathe in etc. Hence they built a pond attached to every village, a tank attached to every temple, etc. These were their traditional rain water harvesting methods, which served them for thousands of years.

18. Over the last few decades, most of these ponds in our country have been filled with earth and built upon by greedy people, thus destroying their original character. This has contributed to the water shortages in the country.

19. Also, many ponds are auctioned off at throw away prices to businessmen for fisheries in collusion with authorities/Gram Panchayat officials, and even this money collected from these so called auctions are not used for the common benefit of the villagers but mis­appropriate by certain individuals. The time has come when these mal-practices must stop."
*** ***

"22. Before parting with this case we given directions to all the State Governments in the country that they should prepare schemes for eviction of illegal/unauthorized occupants of Gram Sabha/Gram Panchayat/Poramboke/Shamlat land and these must be restored to the Gram Sabha/Gram Panchayat for the common use of villagers of the village. For this purpose the Chief Secretaries of all State Governments/Union Territories in India are directed to do the needful, taking the help of other senior officers of the Governments. The said scheme should provide for the speedy eviction of such illegal occupant, after giving him a show-cause notice and a brief hearing. 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. Regularization should only be permitted in exceptional cases, e.g., where lease has been granted under some Government notification to landless labourers or members of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, or where there is already a school, dispensary or other public utility on the land.

23. Let a copy of this order be sent to all Chief Secretaries of ail States and Union Territories in India who will ensure strict and prompt compliance of this order and submit compliance reports to this Court from time to time."

9. There is no dispute in regard to the fact that ground water level is going down due to misuse of water. Even though, the proper steps have not been taken by the concerned authorities, may be, administrative authorities, local self bodies or other functionaries in ensuring proper management of ponds, tanks and lakes. However, it is a duty of all concerned authorities to work sincerely for the purpose of conservation and maintenance of ponds, tanks and lakes properly.

10. In this view of the matter, this petition is disposed of with the following directions :-

(1) That, in each divisional level a Committee be constituted under the Chairmanship of Revenue Commissioner of the division to monitor the effective implementation of the water conservation schemes introduced by the Government for the aforesaid purpose.

(2) The Committee shall also ensure that there should not be any encroachment over the land of ponds, tanks and lakes, and if, there is any encroachment that be removed immediately.

(3) The State Government shall take effective steps in regard to water harvesting and ground water level management so the problem of reducing the level of ground water could be tackled.

(4) A copy of the order be sent to the Chief Secretary of the State and also the Secretary, Revenue Department of the State.


Before parting with the order, we appreciate the valuable assistance provided by the learned Amicus Curiae Mr. K.S. Shrivastava, Advocate, Mr. M.P.S. Raghuwanshi, learned Additional Advocate General and Mr. Sunil Jain, Advocate.

No order as to costs.


http://www.jeehcsc.com/judgment?jid=493214

Monday, April 18, 2016

Gujarat: 3.7k ha pastoral land encroached

| TNN |
Gandhinagar: Despite the Supreme Court (SC) and high court's several directions, the Gujarat government is not being able to remove encroachments from Gauchar (pastoral) land in hundreds of villages. As per the official records available, there are more than 5,000 encroachments on the pastoral land. According to the official records of panchayat and rural development, 3,700 hectare land across the state has been encroached upon. Ironically, the state government has expressed its inability to remove the encroachment.

Jayantibhai Kavadiya, minister of state, panchayat and rural development department, said, "As per the Gujarat Panchayat Act 1993, clause 105, the removal of pastoral land encroachment is duty of local village Panchayat. Taluka development officer gives instructions for removal of encroachments and gives instructions to talati-mantari every month.''

The SC in January 2011 had ordered for putting strict restriction on the sale of Gauchar land of the state and removing the encroachment from it. The SC order had said, "Pastoral land and other community resources belonging to a village shall not be given for industrial or commercial use and should strictly be used for communities' use".


The SC had directed all the state governments to formulate schemes for eviction of illegal and unauthorized occupants of land meant for gram sabha, gram panchayat and other community uses. The SC said, "Long duration of such illegal occupation or huge expenditure on constructions thereon or political connections must not be treated as a justification for condoning this illegal act or for regularizing the illegal possession". 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/3-7k-ha-pastoral-land-encroached/articleshow/51871369.cms

In Other courts: Chandra Pal Singh vs Dy. Director Of Consolidation, Gonda & 2 Others (Uttar Pradesh)



eLegalix - Allahabad High Court Judgment Information System (Judgment/Order in Text Format)



This is an UNCERTIFIED copy for information/reference. For authentic copy please refer to certified copy only. In case of any mistake, please bring it to the notice of Deputy Registrar(Copying).

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH

Court No. - 21

Case :- CONSOLIDATION No. - 505 of 2013

Petitioner :- Chandra Pal Singh
Respondent :- Dy. Director Of Consolidation, Gonda & 2 Others
Counsel for Petitioner :- Ram Prakash Singh
Counsel for Respondent :- C.S.C.



Hon'ble Sibghat Ullah Khan,J.
 
Even though I do not agree with the manner in which D.D.C., Gonda accepted the reference dated 01.02.2011/ 07.02.2011 through three words' order 'Approved as proposed' on 30.05.2011, however, from the perusal of the record, it is quite clear that petitioner with active support of Consolidation Officer and officials is trying to encroach upon Gaon Sahba property comprised in Plots No.692 and 797, area 0.11 acre and 0.51 acre respectively. It appears that the plot numbers were changed subsequently to 39 and 315. The land is situate in Village and Pargana Dikisir Tehsil Tarabganj District Gonda. In the year 1998, petitioner came forward with the case that on 23.09.1961 some order had been passed in his favour by the Consolidation Officer in the earlier consolidation proceedings. Copy of the said order is Annexure-2 to the writ petition. It is inconceivable that in case in 1961 some order had been passed in favour of the petitioner, then his name would not have been immediately entered in the revenue records and continued to be entered as such. On repeated inquiry from the court, learned counsel for petitioner is unable to give any reason as to why his name was not recorded and continued to be recorded. It is more than apparent that no order on 23.09.1961 was passed in favour of petitioner and as records had been weeded out, hence petitioner manufactured the copy of a non-existent order. In consolidation, people are liberally manufacturing the orders and entries and antidating them to 15, 20, 30, 40 or more years before. I have discussed this aspect in detail in U.P. Awas Evam Vkas Parishad, Lucknow Vs. Lajja Ram, 2012, (3) AWC 2226. Paras 22 to 27 of the said authority are quoted below:
 
"The provision of presumption is provided under Section 114 of Evidence Act, which contains some illustrations also. The said section along with illustrations (e) & (f) is quoted below:
"114. Court may presume existence of certain facts.- The court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private business in their relation to the facts of the particular case.
The Court may presume-
(e) that judicial and official acts have been regularly performed;
(f) that the common course of business has been followed in particular case;"

If the presumption of entry in favour of plaintiff's father for four or seven years is to be presumed then presumption of correctness of discontinuance of entry for 40 years will also have to be drawn.
 
Life of law has not been logic, it has been experience (O.W. Holmes). This principle applies with greater force on presumptions and human conduct. I have heard and decided hundreds of matters pertaining to agricultural land and my experience is that Gaon Sabha property has been looted by unscrupulous persons on a very large scale by manipulation in the revenue records and forging of orders particularly of consolidation courts. The modus operendi is that a very old entry or copy of order is produced like a rabbit from the hat of a magician and its resumption or recording is sought.
 
Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No.1132 of 2011, Jagpal Singh and others Vs. State of Punjab, in Para-20 observed as follows:
"20. In Uttar Pradesh the U.P. Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1954 was widely misused to usurp Gram Sabha lands either with connivance of the Consolidation Authorities, or by forging orders purported to have been passed by Consolidation Officers in the long past so that they may not be compared with the original revenue record showing the land as Gram Sabha land, as these revenue records had been weeded out. Similar may have been the practice in other States. The time has now come to review all these orders by which the common village land has been grabbed by such fraudulent practices."


In Dina Nath Vs. State of U.P. 2009 (108) R.D. 321, I held that not making any efforts for getting the name of the petitioner entered in the revenue records on the basis of alleged patta by Gaon Sabha for 29 years proved that no patta was executed. I issued directions to all the Collectors to reopen all such cases where names of private persons were entered in the revenue records over Gaon Sabha land. Matter was carried to the Supreme Court in the form of S.L.P. (Civil) C.C.4398 of 2010 Dina Nath Vs. State. The Supreme Court decided the matter on 29.03.2010 and quoted almost my entire judgment in inverted commas and approved the same.
 
Accordingly, it is held that whenever a person comes along with the case that Gaon Sabha land was allotted to him or some order was passed by any Court in his favour declaring his right over Gaon Sabha land or some revenue entry was in his favour long before but during last several years his name is not recorded in the revenue records then an irrebuttable presumption amounting to almost conclusive proof must be drawn to the effect that allotment order or entry is forged."

Accordingly, I fully agree with the learned counsel for petitioner that the impugned order by D.D.C. is not correct for the reason that D.D.C. did not hear the petitioner and did not give reason. However, I have heard learned counsel for petitioner to a great length and I find that it is a clear cut case of forged copy of non-existent order of 1961. 

Annexure-3 to the writ petition is copy of an order dated 15.03.1999 passed by Consolidation Officer (Tarab Ganj) whose name is not legible. That order has been passed in Case No.3072 under Section-9A directing entry of petitioner's name on plot No.315, area 0.51 acres (0.206 hectares) and plot No.39 area 0.11 acres (0.045 hectares) after expunging the name of Gaon Sabha on the basis of order dated 23.09.1961 and khatauni 1375-1377 Fasli and namantaran bahi 1376 Fasli. If the said C.O. is still in service disciplinary proceedings must immediately be initiated against him after suspending him. Collector, Gonda/ Deputy Collector, Tarab Ganj Gonda are directed to immediately restore the property in dispute to the Gaon Sabha. Neither further proceedings in any court shall be taken nor any further inquiry in this regard shall be held. It is further directed that whoever may be in possession shall be dispossessed and the land should be restored to the Gaon Sabha. 

Writ Petition is disposed of.
In the end learned counsel for petitioner prayed for dismissal of the writ petition as withdrawn. The prayer is rejected. 

Office is directed to supply a copy of this order free of cost to Sri Vinay Bhushan, learned Additional C.S.C. for immediately sending the same to the authorities concerned.
Order Date :- 14.8.2013
NLY



In other Courts: VIKASH SAMITI GONER ROAD VERSUS STATE OF RAJ. AND ORS.



In The High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan
Jaipur Bench, Jaipur
O R D E R
D.B. Civil Writ Petition (PIL) No.14191/2012





VIKASH SAMITI GONER ROAD
VERSUS
STATE OF RAJ. AND ORS
 
Date : 14.11.2013



Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ajay Rastogi

Hon'ble Mr.Justice J.K. Ranka



Mr. R.R. Sharma, for petitioner.

Instant public interest petition has been filed by the vigilant society of whom the petitioner is a social worker & President of Vikas Samiti Goner Road (East) Ghati Karolan Colonies, Jaipur.

The main grievance of the petitioner for invoking jurisdiction of this Court is that the illegal encroachment is rampant going on over the public land which has been reserved for catchment area for resources of water (pond), situated at Khaniya Bandha, Ghat Ki Guni, Jaipur which was constructed in the year 1899 by the then His Highness of Jaipur for supply of water to the villagers of Goner and nearby villages situated at Agra Road.

His further contention is that the reserved land has been encroached by some of the land grabbers and they have set up residential colonies and as regards the present petitioner, he is fighting with tooth & nail and going from pillar to post by making his complaints to the respective authorities but all his efforts remained in vein and after the legal notice of demand for justice being served, has approached to this Court by filing public interest petition.

As regards the complaints which has been alleged by the petitioner, it pertains to the year 1996/2006 which were made to the respective authorities and after service of legal notice in the year 2012, filed instant public interest petition in this Court.

He has further brought to our notice that Hon'ble Apex Court in Jagpal Singh & Ors. Vs. State of Punjab & Ors., (Civil Appeal No.1132/2011 @ SLP (C) No.3109/2011), decided on 28.01.2011, while taking cognizance of such alike encroachments nearby pond areas, finally disposing of public interest petition observed as under :- 

“Before parting with this case we give directions to all the State Governments in the country that they should prepare schemes for eviction of illegal/unauthorized occupants of Gram Sabha/Gram Panchayat/Poramboke/ Shamlat land and these must be restored to the Gram Sabha/Gram Panchayat for the common use of villagers of the village. For this purpose the Chief Secretaries of all State Governments/Union Territories in India are directed to do the needful, taking the help of other senior officers of the Governments. The said scheme should provide for the speedy eviction of such illegal occupant, after giving him a show cause notice and a brief hearing. 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. Regularization should only be permitted in exceptional cases e.g. where lease has been granted under some Government notification to landless labourers or members of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, or where there is already a school, dispensary or other public utility on the land.” 

He further submits that in compliance of directions of Hon'ble Apex Court, referred to supra, sent to all the Chief Secretaries of the States, the State Government has also issued circular dt.25.04.2011 but that remains a paper compliance and according to him the respective authority has not given effect to the mandate of law & the circular issued by the State Government and that is the reason for which he has approached to this Court by filing instant public interest petition.

Since the representations/applications made by the petitioner pertain to 1996/2006 and has approached to this Court after serving legal notice in the year 2012, that cannot be considered at this stage, however, we consider it appropriate to grant liberty to the petitioner to make representation in light of the judgment, referred to supra, & in furtherance of the circular issued by the State Government in compliance thereof dt.25.04.2011 apprising of the grievance raised herein to the competent authority, who after due examination, may pass speaking order within three months thereafter and final decision may be communicated to the petitioner who if still feels aggrieved will be at liberty to avail remedy which the law permits to him.

With these directions/observations, the petition stands disposed of.





(J.K. Ranka),J.                                                                         (Ajay Rastogi),J.









http://rhccasestatus.raj.nic.in/smsrhcb/rhbcis/jtextfile.asp?ID=CW+++&nID=14191&yID=2012&doj=11%2F14%2F2013