SC directs states to demolish constructions, evict encroachers

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) All types of construction ingram sabha land across the country are illegal as the land ismeant for common public purposes, the Supreme Court has ruledand directed all states to forthwith demolish the unauthorisedstructures on them and evict the encroachers.

A bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan SudhaMishra, while passing the direction, asked Chief Secretariesof the states and union territories to comply with the ordersand file periodical compliance reports to the effect.

"In many states, government orders have been issued bypermitting allotment of gram sabha land to private persons andcommercial enterprises on payment of money. In our opinion,all such government orders are illegal, and should beignored," the bench said in a written order.

The apex court passed the direction while dismissing theappeal of Jaswant Singh who challenged his eviction from agram panchayat land in Rohar village of Punjab''s Patialadistrict.

Noting that gram sabha land are meant for preservingwater bodies, children''s play ground, community centres, etc,the apex court asked the states to forthwith demolish allunauthorised structures at these places constructed bypoliticians, goonda and influential elements and restore it tothe gram sabhas.

"In this connection, we wish to say that our ancestorswere not fools. They knew that in certain years there may bedrought or water shortage for some other reason and waterwas also required for cattle to drink and bath in etc. Hence,they built a pond attached to every village, a tank attachedto every temple, etc. These were their traditional rain-waterharvesting methods which served them for thousands of years.

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