January 15, 2021 7:30:59 pm
Two days after three First Information Reports (FIRs) were filed and 10 persons were arrested in Ahmedabad for the first time under the newly implemented stringent Gujarat Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act 2020, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that the new act will force the land mafia to either “leave their anti-social activities or leave Gujarat”.
Speaking at the inauguration of development projects worth Rs 578 crore in Jamnagar, including the construction of a 3.5-km overbridge touted to be the longest in Saurashtra region, on Friday, Rupani said the government will not spare those who have been grabbing land in Jamnagar.
“In the previous assembly session, our government brought stringent acts, including the one against land grabbing. The first condition for development is law and order. This is the Gujarat of a Gandhi and Sardar Patel, of peace and non-violence, of businesspersons… and we are working in that direction. ‘Goondagardi’ (goon act) will not be tolerated here and with the pledge of ‘goons leave goondagardi or leave Gujarat’, the government is moving forward,” said Rupani.
Reasoning that the act has been introduced to prevent land grabbing and encroachments, Rupani said, “We have made the act powerful enough and under this, the collector has to decide (on the application of a complainant) in 15 days, FIR has to be filed within 8 days and in six months, the special court has to give verdict. In six months, those who have been grabbing land for 10-15 years will fold their hands and plead that they will do another business but not this (act of land grabbing). I am aware of the cases in Jamnagar and the government will not spare anyone,” the CM said.
Rupani’s comment was an apparent reference to builder mafia of Jayesh Patel alias Jaysuh Ranpariya, who is believed to be hiding in the United Kingdom. Recently the Indian government at the behest of Gujarat Police had written to the UK to track down and arrest Ranpariya who is named in more than 42 cases of murder, attempt to murder, land grabbing, extortion and fraud among others.
Till now, since its implementation, three FIRs have been filed in Bhavnagar and three in Ahmedabad under the new act.
The minimum provision for punishment under the act is 10 years which is extendable upto 14 years.
A committee of seven officials, headed by the district collector and comprising district development officer, district superintendent of police, municipal commissioner, police commissioner, chief executive officer of urban development authority and resident additional collector, was formed under the anti-land grabbing act.
Any aggrieved person can submit a written complaint to the committee, which will then appoint an officer to inquire into it. The inquiry officer will submit the report and the committee has to take a decision within 21 days.
As per the Act, if the complaint is found genuine, then the committee will order registration of an FIR against the accused person. Police will have to register an FIR within seven days of the order of the committee. Investigation of the case will be done by a police officer, not below the rank of deputy superintendent of police. Police will also have to submit the chargesheet within 30 days of the FIR.
For expediting trial in cases under the law, special courts will be set up that will dispose of the case within six months. Under the Act, the minimum punishment for the guilty is 10 years, which can be extended upto 14 years.
Rupani also announced setting up of a sports museum of world standard in Jamnagar.
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