Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 11:
There is bad news for grabbers of government land in Odisha. The state government’s Revenue department has asked the Law department to frame rules for the Odisha Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Ordinance after it received the President’s approval and a notification issued in the official gazette of the state government.
Sources said a Bill in this regard will be introduced in the next Assembly session.
As per provisions in the Ordinance, encroachment of government land will be considered a cognisable offence and a non-bailable arrest warrant will be issued against the encroacher/violator.
The Ordinance provides for establishment of a special court having powers to take suo motu cognisance and try every case arising out of an alleged act of land-grabbing or on application filed by any officer, authority or person.
The court will be deemed to be a “civil court” and “court of session” for the purpose of the Ordinance.
The offences committed under the Ordinance will be made punishable with imprisonment for a minimum period of one year which may extend up to seven years and with fine which may extend up to Rs 20,000.
“We have issued the Odisha Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Ordinance. Mainly we have defined land grabbing here. Land grabbing has been made into a cognizable offence which will entail criminal liability. Framing of rules for the Ordinance is in the process. We will introduce it in the coming session of the Assembly. Secondly, we have asked the Law department to establish special courts for the purpose and they are taking steps in this regard,” informed Mona Sharma, Revenue secretary.
The notification has defined who will be called land encroachers.
In the event of any individual or group of individuals illegally occupying government land trying to sell it or making efforts to sell it or illegally doing construction work on it action will be taken away from him/them.
The Ordinance will be applicable in areas under all municipal corporations, municipalities, NAC, development authorities and land alongside national and state highways