Eviction of encroachments

04/08/2018

Formulated on the directions of the Supreme Court nearly six years back, a scheme for eviction of all sorts of encroachments has remained unimplemented in Jammu and Kashmir thereby leading to present alarming situation in the length and breadth of the State, which has been viewed very seriously by the Governor N N Vohra. Supreme Court vide judgment dated January 28, 2011 passed in Civil Appeal titled Jagpal Singh Versus State of Punjab and Others had directed all the State Governments in the country to prepare schemes for eviction of encroachments on common and other categories of land. The Supreme Court had also directed the Chief Secretaries of all the States to ensure that such a scheme provide for speedy eviction of illegal occupants and long duration of such illegal occupation or huge expenditure in making constructions thereon or political connections must not be treated as justification for condoning this illegal act or for regularizing the illegal possession. After discussions spread over several months, the Revenue Department formulated a scheme for eviction of encroachments in the light of judgment of the Apex Court and keeping in view the powers conferred by J&K Land Revenue Act and J&K Common Lands (Regulation) Act besides other relevant provisions of the law in force in the State.
The scheme titled as "J&K Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants (from common and other land) Scheme" was approved by the State Cabinet vide Decision No.188/23/2011 dated October 19, 2011 and the same was notified vide Government Order No. Rev/ Lit/218 dated November 28, 2011 for strict implementation by all the concerned authorities.
Moreover, the Deputy Commissioners were supposed to prepare lists of encroachments through the revenue officers within a period of three months from the notification of scheme and then start eviction of illegal occupation under the provisions of J&K Land Revenue Act and J&K Common Lands (Regulation) Act. It was categorically mentioned in the scheme that on eviction of unauthorized occupants, the Deputy Commissioners shall handover the possession of land to concerned authority under law and make proper entry in the revenue records. However, the scheme has remained unimplemented till date due to absolute non-seriousness at all these levels. Instead of initiating steps for implementation of the scheme, all the concerned authorities particularly field level officers of the Revenue Department and Block Development Officers (BDOs) allowed the encroachments to take place right under their nose for ulterior motives.

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