Petitioner’s Eviction Improper, Should Be in Accordance With  Procedure Established under Land Encroachment Act: Andhra Pradesh High Court

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M Krishna Rao …………. Petitioners 

Vs 

The State of Andhra Pradesh……….Respondents  

FACTS

In this case a layout styled as “R.T.C. Colony” was laid and the same was approved by the 5th Respondent vide resolution no. 2 dated 27.02.1988. The developers of the same layout sold the housing plots in the favor of several individuals through registered sale deeds and the purchasers in turn sold it to the third parties. When the Petitioner was in possession of the land, the authorities-initiated action for demolition of the house on the grounds that the land where the house was built is government land. A notice under section 7 of the Andhra Pradesh land encroachment act, 1905 was issued stating that the land to an extent is a government land. The notice called upon the Petitioner to appear before the Respondents along with all the necessary documents. The Petitioner gave the explanation in writing enclosing all the documents and the Respondents without following the procedure passed an order for demolition. Aggrieved by the same, the present Writ Petition has been filed by the Petitioner for declaring the actions of the Respondent as illegal and incorrect. 

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED

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The learned counsel for the Petitioner submitted before the court that the actions of the Respondent were illegal, improper and incorrect and the same is not in accordance with the law. Further, the Petitioner’s counsel points out that when the explanation is given by every individual, referring the same to the district collector for passing orders in terms of section 7A of the act would be illegal and it would deny them an opportunity of filing an appeal under section 10 of the act. 

The learned government pleader appearing for the Respondents submitted before the court that the explanation given by the Petitioner was forwarded to the district collector as to pass appropriate orders under section 7A of the act. Further, he also submits that the land, which is subject matter of dispute, is a canal land and the Petitioner has illegally encroached upon the same. 

COURT’S ANALYSIS

The court was of the opinion that a notice was issued on 01.04.2021, to which the Petitioner submitted his explanation. No orders had been passed till date by the Respondents and the matter was referred to the district collector in terms of section 7A of the Act. The argument of the learned government pleader in respect of encroachment was accepted but the Petitioner’s eviction was done in a highhanded manner and the same should be in accordance with the procedure established by law. 

COURT’S DECISION

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The court directed the collector to hear the Petitioner before passing any order to the explanation given to the notice under section 7 of the Act. Till that time the demolition of the building is stopped. If any coercive steps have been passed against the Petitioner then 2 weeks’ notice should be provided to him to take appropriate steps. No orders as to costs and any application pending shall also stand closed. 

click here to view the judgment 


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