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Gujarat High Court disposes of PIL challenging allotment of survey in favour of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation

The Gujarat High Court disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed challenging an order of allotment of Survey in favour of  Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), which was passed by the Collector, Kutchchh at Bhuj.

The petitioner Trust contended that the  objects of the Trust is to engage the local people in the animal welfare activities and to see that the gauchar land in the area is developed so that animal gets sufficient fodder. It is submitted that the revenue records pertaining to various survey numbers  in Village Form No.7 has been appended with the writ petition to assert that there is no Government padtar land for the area of 109 hectares. The fall out is that the Collector had allotted gauchar land to the GIDC.

On a query made by the Court, it is submitted by the counsel for the petitioner that there is no clarity of the plot allotted in favour of GIDC as the order of allotment refers to Survey  area 109 hectares. It is admitted that it is not possible for the petitioner to identify the land in question or lay his hands over the revenue records pertaining to the land in question which has been allotted in favour of the GIDC.

It is contended in the petition that the land allotted to the GIDC is gauchar land and not traverse land and the entries in the Panch Rojkam are wrongly entered as traverse land in the Panch Rojkam dated 23.11.2020 and 2.10.2021. The contention is that the entire exercise of allotment of the land in question in favour of the GIDC is wrong.

On various contentions made by the petitioner in the petition, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha P. Mayee find that a factual inquiry is required to be conducted, which is not possible within the scope of Article 226 of the Constitution of India. There is no clarity in the petition that the land allotted to the GIDC is actually a gauchar land. The petitioner, in the present Public Interest Litigation  is asking the Court to make a roving inquiry as to the nature of the land allotted to the GIDC. 

The Bench does not find any reason to sustain the petition filed in the nature of PIL when complete facts are not before us. However, it may be noted that the petitioner claims to have moved representations dated 6.2.2023 and 2.1.2024 and 12.1.2024 to the competent authorities, copies of which have been appended with the writ petition. The contention is that the petitioner has not received any response to any of the said representations.

Noticing the above, the Bench provide that the petitioner may make a fresh representation before the Collector, Kutchchh at  Bhuj, giving details of his objections about the allotment of the land in question in favour of the GIDC vide order dated 7/5(6)/2022, along with the copy of this order. 

On such representation being filed within a period of two weeks , the Collector, Kutchchh at Bhuj shall be under obligation to make an inquiry and deal with the objections raised by the petitioner after due consideration of the revenue records of Survey 109 hectares allotted in favour of the GIDC. The contention of the petitioner that the said plot is being gauchar land, has wrongly been allotted by the Collector, shall be specifically dealt with in the order to be passed within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of the representation. In the entire exercise to be conducted by the Collector, due notice and opportunity be given to the allottee namely, GIDC , the Bench directed.

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