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Rajasthan High Court Sets Aside Order Issued by District Collector, Jodhpur Divesting Use of Disputed Agore Land For Expansion of Abadi, Remove Encroachments Within 3 Months

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Case: Shambhu Ram vs the State Of Rajasthan

Excerpt 

This Petitioner has filed a writ petition (PIL). The Petitioner seeks directions to the respondents to remove the encroachment and restore the status of agore land. The schedule of the lands is khasra no. 431 measuring 19.18 bighas and khasra no. 433 measuring 19.02 bighas of Village Sanvreej, Tehsil Phalodi, District Jodhpur.

Issue before the Court

Whether the writ petition filed to remove the encroachments and restore the status of gair ‘mumkin agore land’ is maintainable or not?

Facts of the Case

The Petitioner in the present case claims that the lands measuring 24 bighas & 18 biswas comprising khasra no. 431 and 24 bighas & 2 biswas comprising khasra no. 433 were (2 of 7) [CW-10457/2018] recorded in the revenue is a ‘gair mumkin agore’. The revisional authority, Shri Chunni Lal questioned the legality of the same. There was no response to the notice served by the Petitioner. Hence, the Petitioner filed this petition. 

Arguments before the Court

The Counsel appearing for the petitioner contended that one can not divest the land forming part of ‘gair mumkin agore’, the catchment area of Nadi or talab for any other purpose. Thus, the issued pattas do not create any right in favour of allottees.

The Counsel added further that it is the duty of State Authorities to protect the water bodies and the catchment area to maintain ecological balance. Thus, claims that the petition is maintainable. 

The learned Government Counsel submits that a part of the said land in question has already been deprived for expansion of Abadi and other use. The Counsel could not prove how to divest the land forming part of the agore i.e. catchment area when the Court asked. 

Observation of the Court

The Court by taking account of Section 16 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955, observed that the lands where no khatedari rights will build, also includes the land used for casual and occasional cultivation, in the bed of a river or tank; land covered by water, used to grow Singhara or other like product; land acquired or held for a public purpose or a work of public utility. 

It also includes land separated for the flow of water into any reservoir or tank of drinking water for a village or for the surrounding villages. Thus, the land falling within the perimeter of the tank or pond of the village is not available for allotment to the extension of Abadi or any other use. The same is the land of public utility.

Court’s Decision

The Court allowed the writ petition and set aside the order issued by the District Collector, Jodhpur. The Court divested the use of disputed ‘gair mumkin agore land’ to expand Abadi and other purposes. The Court further ordered the respondents to cancel the pattas, if not cancelled. The Court also ordered to remove the encroachments over ‘gair mumkin agore land’ within three months. The Respondents are not excluded by the persons occupying such land on the strength of the pattas issued in their favour from taking appropriate measures for rehabilitation of the patta holders.

The Court further directed the Respondents to file a compliance report before this Court latest by the first week of July 2021. The Court for perusal must list the matter of the compliance report on 7.7.2021.

Click here to view the Judgement.


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