Encroachment ‘sad reality’ for 75 yrs: SC permits Railways to proceed with demolition

The Supreme Court Thursday allowed the Railways to proceed with the eviction of unauthorised settlements on its land earmarked for the proposed Surat-Jalna route, however not earlier than pulling it up for failing to stop encroachment regardless of sustaining a Railway Protection Force and having a particular enactment that permits it to take action.

A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar stated that the Railways could instantly situation notices to occupants of unlawful constructions and provides them two weeks to vacate the premises. For constructions that don’t require to be vacated instantly, 4 weeks could also be given, stated the bench that additionally comprised Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and C T Ravikumar.

“In either case, if occupants fail to vacate unauthorised structure, it will be open to Western Railways to initiate appropriate legal action and forcible removal of unauthorised structure by taking help of local police force,” the courtroom dominated.

Hearing a plea searching for instructions for the rehabilitation of those that will likely be displaced, the highest courtroom stated the Collector of the district involved should collect the names and particulars of such folks earlier than commencing the method of eviction. This is for offering appropriate lodging to “deserving and eligible persons”, stated the bench.

The courtroom stated solatium of Rs 2,000 ought to be paid for every construction by the entity proudly owning the land — that’s the native and state governments.

“Amount shall be initially paid by the Collector for a period of 6 months only to be shared equally by the owner of the land (local and state government),” it stated, including that affected individuals can apply for rehabilitation if the native authorities has such schemes.

The courtroom added that if there isn’t a scheme formulated and in drive by native authority, the individuals more likely to be affected by the motion of demolition can apply for allocation of premise by means of ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’ supplied it’s processed inside 6 months.

Western Railways had argued that the first accountability of making certain no encroachment takes place on any property is of native authorities and state authorities.
But the courtroom stated: “Although the argument appears substantive in first blush, (it) does not impress us as Railway enactment allows them to safeguard their property and they also have a Railway force to safeguard their property wherever located.”

“You want your property back and you are the Union, you have to take financial responsibility. Why are you spending so much on police force if you cannot manage your own property? Only issuing circulars won’t help,” the bench instructed Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj. “We hold Railways equally responsible for this situation and they are bound to provide support to the persons who are likely to be affected by this demolition.”

The courtroom stated encroachment of public land has been a “sad reality” within the nation during the last 75 years.

“Primary duty to see that there is no encroachment of public land is duty of local government. It’s time local govt wakes upto this situation. It’s a sad story continuing for 75 years. This is the sad story of this country. Some may encroach. It is removed and another encroaches. It is ultimately the taxpayers money which goes down the drain,” the courtroom stated.

Pointing out that the Railways has the ability to provoke felony motion towards unauthorised occupants, the apex courtroom stated it should resort to such proceedings instantly after it is delivered to the discover of officers involved.

Earlier, the Gujarat HC had dismissed the plea following which a plea was filed within the type of PIL within the SC.

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