Friday, June 2, 2023

Rajasthan High Court directs authorities to act against encroachment on Bhilwara city roads, dismisses PIL

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The Rajasthan High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed against illegal encroachment on the roads of Bhilwara city.

The petitioners’ alleged that while constructing buildings in municipal limits, proper set-back and parking have not been ensured and even there are encroachments on parking spaces in basements of shopping complexes in the city. Further allegation is that while allowing construction to be raised, the direction of the High Court in the case of Gulab Kothari Vs. State of Rajasthan & Ors. in D.B. Civil Writ Petition No.1554/2004 decided on 15.12.2018, is violated.

Taking into consideration that the grievance ventilated through this PIL was mainly on account of inaction of respondent authorities on complaints made to them, notices were issued.

An affidavit has been filed by the respondent official titled as “progress report to the contempt petition on behalf of the respondents”. In this affidavit, it has been stated that a total 58 encroachments have already been identified to whom, notice for removal of illegal construction has been issued, of which 14 commercial owners have responded to the notices. Other 36 owners have sought time to comply with directions for removing construction to facilitate basement parking spaces / areas. Copy of the list of encroachers has also been annexed with the affidavit.

The notices under Section 194 of the Rajasthan Municipalities Act 2009 have also been issued by the authorities to seize / demolish illegal construction raised by concerned shop owners / runners.

The purpose and object of the present PIL was to ensure that the authorities take appropriate action on various illegal constructions, encroachments, etc.

From the affidavit, the Bench noted the authorities have initiated various proceedings for removal of encroachment / illegal construction.

At this stage, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Justice Kuldeep Mathur was of the view that it was not necessary to keep this PIL pending any further. The respondent authorities, who have initiated various proceedings, were directed by the Court to complete all the proceedings within an outer limit of four months.

The Court added that those who are aggrieved by any adverse order that may be passed by the competent authority, may take recourse to such remedy as may be available to them under law.

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