The Gujarat High Court (HC) on Thursday ordered the state government to restore a public street that was allegedly encroached upon by Water Resources and Agriculture Minister Babu Bokhiria in Porbandar in its original form within three weeks. A division bench of the court,comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala,passed an order in this regard while acting on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) moved by a resident of Porbandar. The petitioner,Rajesh Odedara,had alleged that Bokhiria had encroached upon the public street by erecting fencing on both sides of the street under the pretext that some locals were creating nuisance there. Odedara had also alleged that the state was protecting Bokhiria as representations before authorities,including CM Narendra Modi,in this regard had gone in vain.
Odedara had added that following one of the complaints of his father,who is no more now,before the Porbandar Nagarpalika with reference to the encroachment,the latter had issued a notice to Bokhiria. However,the petitioner added,the said notice was stayed by Porbandar collector after Bokhiria approached him against the notice. In the previous hearing,the government pleader,Prakash Jani,had made a statement that the collector was likely to take a decision on Bokhirias application against the notice issued by Porbandar Nagarpalika shortly.
According to Odedaras lawyer,B M Mangukiya,Jani informed the court that Bokhiria had removed the fencing on the street and that the latter did not want to pursue the matter any further. We drew the attention of the court that Bokhiria had developed a garden on the street after fencing and that he had also made an underground water tank there and it remained to be cleared, Mangukiya said.