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Gujarat High Court disposes PIL alleging Sarpanch of giving illegal permissions for raising high rise construction over plots

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The Gujarat High Court disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed  making allegations of various permissions illegally granted by the Sarpanch for raising high rise construction over the plots.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha P. Mayee noted that none of those persons, in whose favour, allegedly, the permissions had been illegally granted to raise the construction, are impleaded in the petition.There is no details of such persons and only a list of such persons had been appended along with the representation to point out that those persons have been granted permission illegally to raise the construction. 

It is further submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioner that despite best efforts made by the petitioner, the District Development Officer has not taken any action on the complaints made by the petitioner and as such, the occasion has arisen for filing the instant Public Interest Litigation. 

It is also stated that after filing of the instant Public Interest Litigation, some of the illegal permissions have been withdrawn and the action has been taken against the erring persons. 

The submission is further that similar actions may be directed to be taken against all other erring persons. 

All these submissions being made by the  counsel for the petitioner are in any case without impleading those persons, who allegedly raised the construction illegally or in whose favour, the permission has been granted in an illegal manner. 

The Bench observed that the fact remains that in absence of those persons, any order passed by us would be in violation of principles of natural justice. 

“A roving inquiry in the present writ petition filed in the shape of Public Interest Litigation cannot be made by us in absence of those persons being party herein.”

In the said scenario, while disposing of the present Public Interest Litigation, the Bench leave it open to the petitioner to approach the District Development Officer concerned by raising specific grievance with respect to the permission, if any granted, illegally by any of the authority including the Sarpanch. In case, such a representation is filed, the District Development Officer would be under an obligation to make an inquiry and take appropriate actions strictly in accordance with law, after providing due notice and opportunity to all concerned, including those persons, who have allegedly granted illegal permissions and those, who have raised illegal construction under the said permissions.

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