The Gujarat High Court on Thursday rejected a set of petitions on the issue of Bhoodan land and directed the state government to enact a law in this regard as expeditiously as possible. The court ordered that for this purpose chief secretary of the Government of Gujarat should form a state-level committee, comprising principal secretary (Revenue), principal secretary (Urban Development and Urban Housing), secretary (Legal) and secretary or representative of the Gujarat Bhoodan Samiti.
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The order stated that the chief secretary should also constitute committees at the district level and include collector, chief town planner and member secretary, District Legal Services Authority, as its members. Such committees should be made within four weeks, the court said.
According to the order, the district-level committees should prepare a data-base from the government and Bhoodan Samiti’s records and other sources about the land donated in the Bhoodan movement with details of owners and dates, besides other information. It said that these committees would report to the state-level panel within three months.
The Gujarat Bhoodan Samiti has been directed to cooperate and furnish information and documents in this regard. The state committee will give recommendations to the government regarding monitoring and distribution the undistributed and the unaccounted donated land. The order specifically stated that these recommendations should be made keeping in mind “the very object of the Bhoodan Movement, so that the lands, which were donated in the Bhoodan Movement are in fact allotted to the landless persons for carrying on agricultural operations wherever possible, otherwise for using such lands for the public purpose”.
The order also said, “On receiving such recommendations from the state-level committee, it is expected that the government shall take appropriate policy decision or enact the law as expeditiously as possible.”