‘Godman’ faces penalty for land encroachment

In more trouble for Asaram,the Gujarat government is likely to slap a major penalty on him for encroachment of public land by his ashram in Jehangirpura area of the city,following an SC order.

Written by Express News Service | Surat | Published: September 3, 2013 3:12 am

In more trouble for Asaram,the Gujarat government is likely to slap a major penalty on him for encroachment of public land by his ashram in Jehangirpura area of the city,following an SC order. “Action is being taken at the government level as per court orders,” Surat District Collector J P Shivhare said. Asked if penalty had been recommended,Shivhare said,“It was under process.” The issue relates to 34,400 sqm unused land of the over 50,000 sqm that the state irrigation department had acquired in 1976 on the Tapi River banks to build a wall. The ashram had allegedly encroached on a part of this land by building a temple and a gaushala on it. Anil Vyas,a farmer,filed a petition in the Gujarat HC that directed the district collector to take possession of the land. Asaram,who wanted some time to challenge the order,was asked to pay Rs 70,000 a month at the district collector’s office for the interim period. The Supreme Court upheld the order last year. Reports on Monday suggested that the penalty could be to the tune of Rs 18 crore,but there was no official confirmation.

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