Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: A Division Bench comprising of CJ Hrishikesh Roy and A.K. Jayasankaran Nambiar, J. directed the State government to decide on a representation relating to encroachment on Uttarapalliyar river.

Petitioner is a registered association of residents of the watershed area of the Uttarapalliyar river in the Alappuzha district. Their averment was that the said river was being subjected to large-scale encroachment resulting in considerable narrowing of the river. As a result, people who were dependent on it for their cultivation and other needs were adversely affected.

Learned counsel for the petitioner Ms Surya Binoy submitted that Uttarapalliyar river emanates from Achankovil in Venmani village and meanders across Ala, Cheriyanadu, Puliyoor, Ennaykkadu villages to join the Pampa river in the Budhanur village. However, revenue records indicated that the river route had not been accurately surveyed which resulted in unauthorized encroachment on river banks at several places.

It was stated that the petitioner had made a representation to the Secretary, Department of Revenue, Government of Kerala for proper survey and demarcation of river boundaries and also to carry out dredging activities to restore the river to its pristine glory. The request was also made to evict the encroachers by invoking provisions of the Kerala Land Conservancy Act, 1957. Since the said representation had not been heeded so far, the petitioners approached this court by filing the present Public Interest Litigation.

Learned senior government pleader Mr Aravindakumar Babu submitted that the court may issue direction for disposal of petitioner’s representation by the competent authority.

In view of the above, the Court directed the respondent to consider the petitioner’s representation by affording him and other stakeholders a hearing in the matter. A speaking order, addressing the grievances raised in the representation, was directed to be passed within four months of receipt of a copy of this judgment.[Rural Development and Cultural Society v. State of Kerala,2018 SCC OnLine Ker 5275, decided on 11-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Vipul M. Pancholi, J. directed the respondents to look into the directions prayed by the petitioner and act accordingly.

An application was filed to direct the respondent to remove the encroachment as per the Section 54 of the Waqf Act, 1995 and to provide with the Police protection while constructing the compound wall surrounding the land of ‘Kabrastan’ (graveyard) registered with the Gujarat State Waqf Board and hence grievance of the petitioner was about inaction on the part of the respondent authority in not taking any decision on representations made by them.

It was admitted that encroachments were made by the people of Scheduled Caste community near the said property.

The Court considering the facts and the circumstances of the case gave a direction to the respondent authority to take into account the representations submitted by the petitioner and decide accordingly in accordance with the law. Accordingly, the petition was disposed of. [Meman Jamat Palanpur v. Gujarat State Waqf Board,2018 SCC OnLine Guj 2242, Order dated 03-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sandeep Mehta, J. gave directions to remove all encroachments which hinder the use of public property.

It was alleged that the plot which was allotted to the petitioner was encroached upon by the respondents. The area encroached upon included roads and parks which were meant for the public at large. Also despite the direction given by the High Court almost five years ago, till date, the encroachments on the roads and the steps reserved for public utility continued to thrive.

The Court firmly believed that had there been initiatives taken by the authorities for the same the issue would not have arisen. It was of the view that since the encroachments were hindering the use of public property, the land shall be liberated for use of Government lands, roads, designated park areas, and open lands.

Accordingly, the Commissioner, JDA was directed to forthwith initiate lawful proceedings for the removal of the encroachments from roads and lands reserved for parks. Along with it, notice for removal of the encroachments shall be issued and action is taken accordingly. Appropriate and adequate force shall be made available to the officials. Also no Civil Court shall grant any stay on the proposed removal of the encroachments specifically for such road and parks.

With above directions, the writ petition was disposed of. [Suraj Prakash Dave v. State of Rajasthan, S.B. CWP No. 10932 of 2016, order dated 31-10-2018]