Uttarakhand High Court directs Haldwani DM to reveal identity of encroachers

The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the District Magistrate, Haldwani to file a detailed and better affidavit disclosing the identity of the encroachers on public / nazul land.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Alok Kumar Verma heard a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) relates to encroachment of government land (Nazul land) at Matar Gali, Haldwani, where unauthorised and illegal constructions have been raised by encroachers.

The District Magistrate has filed a counter-affidavit, which discloses that as per the report of the Revenue Sub Inspector, there is encroachment by construction of eight shops in an area measuring 0.013 hectare by unnamed individuals in the west side of the public gym. In the east direction of the public gym, there is a building of some individual. In the north, there is a hotel and in the south, there is a building of one Swaraj Ashram.

It is discloses in the affidavit that the land-in-question is Nazul land as per the revenue record, which is in the possession of the Public Works Department, the Police Department and the Municipal Board (now Municipal Corporation).

"We are completely dissatisfied with the manner in which the District Magistrate has filed the said affidavit. There is a clear and deliberate attempt to skirt the issue and not to make complete and full identity of the encroachers on the public land," the High Court observed.

Therefore, the High Court directed the District Magistrate to file a detailed and better affidavit disclosing the identity of the encroachers on the public / Nazul land and also place on record the Khasra plan whereon the encroachment should be clearly demarcated.

Further, the Court directed the Authorities to remove the encroachment from public land and to file a report in that regard as well before the next date.

"In case this order is not complied with in its true sense and spirit, the District Magistrate shall remain personally present in the Court on the next date." The matter has been listed on 17.04.2023.