Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act 2020
Chief Minister Shri Vijaybhai Rupani’s historic decision: Chief Minister Shri Vijaybhai Rupani announcing the legal provisions ensuring strict implementation of Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act with determination to protect the interests of farmers and legitimate land owners by controlling land mafias.
Land Grabbers – Implementation of Land Grabbing Prohibition Act will be a new landmark for stricter punishment of land mafias.
Formation of committee of 7 officers under the chairmanship of District Collector for comprehensive scrutiny of complaints received under this Act
At each stage, a time limit has been set for the investigation process
The committee will have to decide on the investigation report submitted within 21 days
In case of expropriation of government land or land has been expropriated by defiant elements, the Collector and the State Government as the Chairman of the Committee will be able to take suo moto action on their own.
Special court – The special court may also direct the committee headed by the district collector to investigate the land grabbers by taking suo moto cognizance.
Special court for speedy hearing of land grabbing cases and stern punishment of land mafias
One public prosecutor will be appointed in each special court
Disposal of such cases in a special court will be ensured in 6 months
The special court will be empowered to conduct civil and criminal court proceedings
The common man will get speedy justice and the guilty land mafia will be severely punished
The responsibility for proving the allegations to be false rests with the land mafia
Chief Minister Shri Vijaybhai Rupani has announced a strict implementation of Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act rules and regulations to raise legal weapon against land mafias who have illegally occupied government, common farmers, privately owned as well as public trusts and monasteries in the state. After the Cabinet approved the proposal of the Land Grabbing Prohibition Act-2020, with the permission of the Governor, the Act became a Bill and the Chief Minister has now decided to implement its legal provisions in the State with immediate effect. The Chief Minister said that this government, which is transparent, sensitive and concerned about the poor, farmers and common man of Gujarat, has taken a historic decision and decided to strictly implement the legal provisions of the Land Grabbing Prohibition Act-2020 from Wednesday, December 15, 2020. Chief Minister Shri Vijaybhai Rupani gave detailed details of these legal provisions. He made it clear in this regard that the complaints of land grabbing by the land mafias of ordinary farmers and some incidents of them being flooded with red water came to the notice of the government. Regardless of which, the state government has ensured the implementation of this strict criminal law with the firm intention of bringing such criminals – land gabbers – to the demeanor of the land mafia and teaching them a hard lesson so that the precious land of not a single farmer in the state is not usurped by any land mafia. This government does not want to let go of the land mafia or any of the skinheads who engage in such criminal activities of illegal land grabbing. The state government is committed to curbing land grabbing activities in the state. With such a clear signal, the implementation of the Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act will be a new milestone, the Chief Minister added. Now, due to the strict punitive provisions of this law, serious incidents of confiscation of valuable lands will be stopped and land mafias will be banned from engaging in such criminal activities. Under the law, offenders will be liable to imprisonment for a minimum of ten years and a maximum of fourteen years from conviction as well as up to the jantri value of the property. The Chief Minister further elaborated on the provisions which have been ensured to make the Land Graining Prohibition Act more comprehensive and stricter punishment and to make it a conciliatory act to curb land mafias. The important provisions of the implementation of the Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act which have been announced by the Chief Minister are as follows: A committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of the District Collector for verification.
In addition to the District Development Officer, District Superintendent of Police and Municipal Commissioner, Commissioner of Police, the CEO of the Urban Development Authority will be a member of this committee and the Additional Resident Collector of the district will act as a member secretary. A special provision has also been made that in case of expropriation or illegal occupation of government land or in case of any defiant elements, the District Collector and the State Government are empowered to take automatic – suomoto action. As a result, action can be taken against land mafias in the state without any embarrassment or pressure. That the meeting of this committee will be held every 15 days. For the investigation of the complaints which the Member Secretary will present before the Committee, the Province Officer will hand over the investigation to another competent authority. The Chief Minister has fixed the time frame of the process for each stage from the first stage of investigation so that the investigation of such complaints does not remain costly for a long time. Accordingly, the investigating officer shall obtain information from any department within five days. The investigating officer will hand over the first visual report to the committee with a thorough investigation as to whether the interest of the complainant is involved in such investigation in the first instance as well as whether the revenue title is in the name of that person and is in fact an act of breach of law. Not only that, it will also report whether such land has been acquired through coercion, intimidation, greed, greed or fraud. – The committee has to take a decision within 21 days of the submission of such investigation report before the committee chaired by the district collector. If the committee comes to the conclusion that this is an offense to be covered under the Land Grabbing Prohibition Act, then when the committee announces its decision to lodge a police complaint, a complaint must be lodged by a police officer within one week-two days of such decision. Not only that, within 60 days of filing the FIR, the full indictment has to be submitted to the special court for the implementation of this law. Crimes under this Act will be investigated by an officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DYSP). Speedy disposal of cases – Strict punishment to the offenders and special courts for proper compensation to the affected – Innocent person: The Chief Minister added that in such cases of land grabbing, the offender must be punished quickly and justice must be done.
For this purpose, it has been decided to set up a special court to hear such land grabbing cases expeditiously and also to punish the land mafias severely. – Cases to be tried before such special courts will have to be disposed of within a maximum of 6 months. Public Prosecutor will also be appointed in each special court for expeditious hearing of such cases in the special court. – As special courts have been given the power of civil and criminal courts, strict punitive action can be taken against land mafias. At the same time, the land of an innocent person, a farmer, a rural citizen who has been usurped will get compensation as well as speedy justice. – Another important provision of this Act is that a person accused of land grabbing in a land grab case has to prove before the court that he has not forfeited such land himself. – i.e. the Burden of Poof will be at the head of the alleged Land Grabber. This will speed up the process of proving the case in court. – In case of such a complaint, the land purchaser will have to prove that the financial source for the purchase has been raised from his own income. He said that such a strict provision would not only punish the perpetrators of land grabbing, but also send a clear message to the society that if such land grabbing offenses were committed, the perpetrators would not be harmed. Shri Vijaybhai Rupani said that with the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act with immediate effect, illegal occupation of lands, financial assistance for illegal construction on such lands as well as rent, compensation or all other help from the occupants of such lands through criminal intimidation. Individuals will be included in the definition of land grabber. In order to accelerate the overall development journey of cities-towns-metropolises in Gujarat, the Chief Minister has sought to build the best of Gujarat through maximum use of lands through industry-trade-agriculture-animal husbandry as well as employment opportunities. He expressed confidence that the implementation of the Gujarat Land Graining Prohibition Act would be a new milestone in realizing this name.