Monday, February 6, 2023

Public land in Uttar Pradesh most vulnerable to encroachment, says Allahabad HC

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The Allahabad High Court on Thursday said public land in Uttar Pradesh is most vulnerable to encroachment and such encroachment “over such public land is not countenanced by the legislature”.

A single bench of Justice Ajay Bhanot passed this order while hearing a PIL filed by Yash Pal Singh. The advocate for the petitioner contended that the petitioner had intimated the competent authority about the encroachment of public land.

Despite receipt of such information with material particulars, the competent authority failed to discharge the statutory obligations under Section 67(2) of the Uttar Pradesh Revenue Code, 2006.

The proceedings were pending for an inordinately long time, without good reasons as the authorities have not implemented the statutory mandate.

Due to apathy and failure on part of the respondents have been emboldened to continue the encroachment with a sense of impunity.

“The Uttar Pradesh Revenue Code, 2006, is the response of the legislature to deal with the endemic problem of encroachment over public lands. The purpose of legislative intent will be defeated in case the statutory authorities do not discharge their statutory functions in a timely manner,”

the Court observed.

Encroachment on public lands causes irreversible damage to public interest and that the Courts too have set their face against such encroachment. The Bench observed, “The officials charged with the duty, to investigate and clear such encroachment, are under an obligation of law to proceed with dispatch, efficiency and in conformity with the provisions of the statute while dealing with issues relating to encroachment over public lands.”

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Mukul Tripathi, Standing Counsel to obtain instructions from the competent authority, as to why the said authority has been prima facie negligent in the performance of its statutory duties.

The matter has been posted for further hearing on February 5, 2021.

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