Raj HC | Encroachment over pasture land to be dealt with specialized Land Protection Cell in order to curtail large number of Public Interest Litigation applications

Rajasthan High Court: A Division Bench of Goverdhan Bardhar and Mohammad Rafiq, JJ. disposed of a Public Interest Litigation, directing the specialized authorities to take necessary actions against the respondents to prevent encroachment over the pasture land of the petitioners.

In the instant case, the Counsel representing the Petitioners, Rakesh Kumar contended that there has been an unauthorized intrusion in the pasture land of the petitioners, and placing reliance on the Supreme Court Judgment, Jagpal Singh v. State of Punjab, (2011) 11 SCC 396, it submitted that the Apex Court had directed the State Governments to prepare a scheme for eviction of illegal/unauthorized occupants.

It was also pointed out that in the case of Jagdish Prasad Meena v. State of Rajasthan, D.B. Civil Writ Petition (PIL) No. 10819/2018, the Rajasthan High Court had taken note of the fact that a large number of PIL applications were being filed with regard to encroachment of pasture lands, hence it directed the Chief Secretary of the State to devise a permanent mechanism for such issues whereby the general public can lodge their complaints/representations to the specifically designated Public Land Protection Cell (PLPC). The PLPC shall get such complaints/representations enquired into by deputing concerned Sub Divisional Officer/Tehsildar/Naib Tehsildar so as to verify the authenticity of such encroachments. Upon verifying of such encroachments, if the Cell finds substance in the allegations, appropriate steps shall be taken against such trespassers and the Cell shall decide by passing a speaking order informing the necessary action taken.

Therefore, the High Court took note of the above decisions and directed the petitioners to file a detailed representation and approach the Sub-Divisional Officer along with the copy of the order. It also directed the authorities to dispose of the complaints/representations within a period of three months from the date of filing of the representation.[Aam Janta Village Saroli v. State Of Rajasthan, 2019 SCC OnLine Raj 1092, decided on 01-04-2019]

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