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Gujarat Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act: Submit probe report against Vejalpur resident in sealed cover, says HC to state

Ahmed Patel, a septuagenarian, had filed a petition seeking the quashing of FIR and subsequent proceedings against him under the Gujarat Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
February 13, 2021 12:56:05 am
Pratap Vilas palace, Gujarat HC, Pratap Vilas palace preservation plea, gujarat news, indian express newsThe involved parties are expected to submit their written arguments by February 26. (File)

The Gujarat High Court on Friday sought that the state government file its committee inquiry report in a case against a Vejalpur resident under the Gujarat Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act with the constitutional court instead of the special trial court, in a sealed cover.

Ahmed Patel, a septuagenarian, had filed a petition seeking the quashing of FIR and subsequent proceedings against him under the Gujarat Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act.

Earlier, Ahmed was taken into police custody in the said case, after the complainant, Pranav Seth, had accused him of offences under the Act for a plot of land, which Ahmed was in legal possession of since the past 33 years. Seth had also initiated proceedings against Ahmed in 2018 under Disturbed Areas Act, for an immovable asset transfer of 1987, even as the Disturbed Areas Act only came into effect in 1991.

A division bench of the Gujarat HC had to interfere after Ahmed’s son moved a habeas corpus petition, wherein the bench had quashed the police remand order.

On Friday, owing to paucity of time before the high court bench of Justices Sonia Gokani and Sangeeta Vishen, the state government had submitted that since the matter is unlikely to be heard, they be permitted to file the committee inquiry report, which is filed by the investigation officer concerned before the special court assigned for trial of Gujarat Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act cases, 30 days from the date of FIR.

The filing of the report before the trial court would have marked the commencement of trial.

However, the petitioner on Friday submitted that the inquiry by the committee as is required to be undertaken under the Gujarat Land Grabbing (Prohibition),Rules was not as in accordance with the stipulations.

The petitioner had further submitted that if the very foundation of the proceedings is illegal, it then does not require further consideration on the processes ahead, such as filing of the report.

Following the arguments, the bench sought that the report be filed with the high court in a sealed cover, which will be examined by the Gujarat HC bench on the next date of hearing, scheduled for February 20.

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