HC directs MCD to survey Satya Niketan plots

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today directed the MCD, DDA, L&DO and other executing agencies concerned to conduct a survey of the South Delhi-based colony-Satya Niketan, in which the 'jhuggi jhopri' owners were allotted plots for their resettlement, as to how many original allotees are staying there.

Directing the civic agencies to file the report of the survey within two months in the court, Justice S N Dhingra said the Government land encroachers were allotted land in Satya Niketan (earlier known as J J Colony) but each of the plots has been sold off and is in possesion of commercial people, which is against the allotment policy.

The High Court, on November 29, 2002, had observed that the policy being adopted by the Government, of allotment of alternate plots to encroachers of public land does not serve any social purpose and such a policy was illegal and invalid.

Quashing this policy of allotment of alternate land to the encroachers of public land, the court had given certain directions to allot such land.

The Court directed that while giving alternate sites to the encroachers/jhuggi dwellers, it should be inspected from time to time that it is not transferred to third parties and if sold, should be cleared from their occupation within a year.

It also directed that no allotment should be converted into ownership-basis. ''The alternate land is alloted to the poor for their benefit but if it is sold and made into a business, it reflects the failure of the policy.'' The Court had directed to clear squatters and encroachers of public land expeditiously, without pre-requisite of providing an alternate site, before such encroachment is removed.

The Union of India filed an SLP against the November 29 High Court order in the Supreme Court, which stayed the order that directed the Government to discontinue the allotment policy.

Justice Dhingra directed the UOI to seek clarification from the apex court and observed that the Government has erred in interpreting the apex court judgement.

''In my view, the Supreme Court has allowed the UOI to pursue its policy of allotment, but has not stayed other directions issued by the High Court of conducting inspections of the plots and finding out who were the persons in actual occupation of the plots and throwing out the third parties.'' UNI SNG SBC BST2001

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