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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Tribal land grab case: court seeks list of bungalow owners

The Bombay High Court has directed the Thane Municipal Corporation and the collector to survey the bungalows allegedly built on agricultural land meant for adivasis in Yeoor which is surrounded by Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
February 26, 2009 11:29:58 pm

The Bombay High Court has directed the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and the collector to survey the bungalows allegedly built on agricultural land meant for adivasis in Yeoor which is surrounded by Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

A division bench of Justice J N Patel and Justice V K Tahilramani was hearing a petition filed by four adivasis who had alleged that there were around 250 bungalows,mostly owned by corporators and other officials,on the agricultural land.

TMC told the court that they have a list of 174 bungalows. The court however asked them to conduct a survey and furnish a list of at least 100 bungalows with the name of the owners in a week’s time.

The petition states that under the Maharashtra Restoration to Scheduled Tribes Act 1964 even if an adivasi has willingly passed away the land it can be reclaimed within a period of 30 years.

Under the Maharashtra Land Code the government can take possession of land and re-allot it to the adivasis. The petition claims that in most cases re-allotment has not taken place.

Petitioners have now urged that in cases where proceedings are over land should be re-alloted to the adivasis while in those cases where they are not over a high level official from the revenue and police department should be appointed to oversee the completion of the proceedings. Petitioners stated that if that cannot be done they should be given the power to demolish the constructions.

The petition further states that in 1993 the TMC had issued notices to bungalow owners who had challenged it before the high court.

The court had however rejected it then. “Once tribal land is held by the adivasi there is no question of transfer. 90 percent of the land is now owned by non- tribals. Corporators,government officials,advocates and doctors are in occupation of the land now,” said the petitioners’ lawyer Suhas Manohar Oak.

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