The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Punjab and Haryana governments to submit the action taken report with regard to initiation of action against encroachers of government or panchayat land as ordered by the Supreme Court in 2011.
The directions came from the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Arun Palli while hearing a petition filed by Palwinder Singh of Karampatti village in Muktsar district alleging encroachment of the village pond.
While directing authorities to take action in the petitioner's case, the division bench observed that the Supreme Court bench comprising justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra had, on January 28, 2011, passed a judgment in "Jagpal Singh and others versus State of Punjab" case to be followed by all states and union territories. "We are not aware as to what steps have been taken in pursuance of this direction," the court said and directed both the states to inform it about the steps taken.
The Supreme Court had ordered all states and union territories that "they should prepare schemes for eviction of illegal/unauthorised occupants of gram sabha/gram panchayat/poramboke/shamlat land and these must be restored to the gram sabha/gram panchayat for the common use of villagers. The said scheme should provide for the speedy eviction of such illegal occupant, after giving him a show-cause notice and a brief hearing."
The judgment reads, "Long duration of such illegal occupation or huge expenditure in making constructions thereon or political connections must not be treated as a justification for condoning this illegal act or for regularising the illegal possession. Regularisation should only be permitted in exceptional cases; for example, where lease has been granted under some government notification to landless labourers or members of scheduled castes/scheduled tribes, or where there is already a school, dispensary or other public utility on the land."
The case has been posted for next hearing on April 11.