"Action is being taken at government level as per court orders," Surat District Collector J P Shivhare told. On asking whether a penalty has been recommended, Shivhare said that it was under process.
The land in question measures about 34,400 square metres of unused land, out of over 50,000 sq m the state irrigation department had acquired in 1976 on the banks of Tapi River to make a protection wall. Asaram's ashram has allegedly encroached a part of this unused land, by building a temple and a cowshed on it.
Anil Vyas, a farmer had filed a petition before the Gujurat government directing that that the district collector take possession of the land. Asaram was asked to pay a fine of Rs 70,000 a month at the district collector's office in spite of him wanting some time. The Supreme Court up held the order last year.
Asaram likely to be fined for encroaching public land
According to the reports, the penalty amount could easily amount to Rs 18 crore.
Once the floods protection wall was built, the excess land was returned to the farmers, but Asaram is supposed to have encroached it.
Asaram's bail plea will be heard on Tuesday in the sessions court. His lawyer has sought bail for him on medical grounds, saying that he was ill. Asaram continues to remain defiant as reports and evidence points in the other direction.
With agency inputs