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Gujarat HC grants interim relief in two more petitions over anti-land grab Act

In one of the petitions, five accused from Porbandar were facing charges under the Act, with the petitioners submitting that they have been in possession of the disputed land since the past 50 years.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
December 1, 2021 12:50:58 am
gujarat hc, supreme court, Vadodara, safe houses, NGO Dhanak, Gujarat, Gujarat news, Ahmedabad news, Indian express news, Indian expressThe petition was filed in 2021 by an interfaith couple from Vadodara through the NGO, who had to escape to New Delhi owing to opposition to their marriage.

The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday granted interim relief in two more petitions related to the Gujarat Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act.

In one of the petitions, five accused from Porbandar were facing charges under the Act, with the petitioners submitting that they have been in possession of the disputed land since the past 50 years.

With the interim relief, the court has stayed further proceedings and investigation in relation to the FIR filed at Kamlabaug police station in Porbandar in relation to the said offence. The second petitioner was an accused who was booked under the anti-land grabbing Act from Kutch.

Meanwhile, while hearing another petition pertaining to land grabbing offence, the division bench of the high court enquired with the petitioner if they have instituted a suit of “malicious prosecution”, in light of the background of the case.

Senior advocate Mihir Joshi, representing Ahmed Patel, a septuagenarian from Vejalpur who was charged for offences under the anti-land grabbing Act, submitted that the accused was in legal possession of a land parcel since 1987.

Contending that the present case “was a classic case where a private dispute is being converted into criminal prosecution to settle scores”, senior counsel Joshi indicated the “arbitrariness” of the impugned law.

During the course of Joshi’s submissions on the background of the case, Chief Justice Aravind Kumar also inquired from Joshi if the petitioner had “instituted suit of malicious prosecution”, following relief to Ahmed from the high court earlier this year, staying further proceedings under the Act against him and releasing him on bail.

In challenge to the Act, it was Joshi’s submission that the nature of the law makes it imperative to ascertain each provision and its implication, since the said Act “conflates civil and criminal adjudication and the principles to be applicable to either depending on the sections, are left in the grey (area).”

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