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In Gujarat, land grabbers to face minimum 10 years jail term; new law cleared

Gujarat: The act against land grabbers has been passed through state legislature and approved by Governor. As per the new provisions, land grabbers will face minimum 10 and maximum 14 years of imprisonment from the day they are found guilty of the act.

New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minster Vijay Rupani has declared strict provisions in Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act to protect lands of people, farmers, trusts etc. from land grabbers. The act has been passed through the state legislature and has been approved by the Governor. Now the state government is committed to implement the stricter provisions from day one.

CM Rupani said that the state government is transparent, sensible and keeps farmers-common men in sight while framing any policy. Therefore, the historical provisions of Land Grabbing Prohibition Act- 2020 to be implemented from 16 December 2020 itself. CM described in detail the provisions of the act and stated that various cases of land grabbing came to notice of the government.

In order to safeguard the land of citizens and take actions against land grabbers, Gujarat Government is determined to make absolutely strict law against anti-social elements and bring an end to land grabbing. Government is committed to not spare anyone who is involved in such illegal activities. CM Mr. Rupani has assured that the implementation of this law will be a landmark in the course of the time.

As per the new provisions, land grabbers will face minimum 10 and maximum 14 years of imprisonment from the day they are found guilty of the act.

The provisions declared by CM Mr. Vijay Rupani are as under-

In order to prevent false complaints which result in damage in title records, a committee under the chairmanship of District Magistrate has been formed which will scrutinize all the applications made under Land Grabbing Act.

Committee includes District Development Officer, District Police Superintendent, Police Commissioner, Municipal Commissioner, CEO of Urban
Development authorities as members while Ad. Resident Collector will be member secretary.

DMs can take suo moto cognizance of offence

District Magistrates and the State Government have been empowered to take Suo Moto in case of high profile land grabbers grabbing government lands. This will help in taking unrestricted action against land grabbers.

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The committee will meet compulsory in every 15 days. The complaints received through committee will be forwarded to zonal officers for investigations.

To avoid delay in investigation, Hon. CM Mr. Rupani has fixed a timeline for all stages of investigation. Investigating officer will have to obtain all the information within five days from concerned departments.

Investigating officer will have to verify any false claim, title records, breach of law etc. and make an investigation report to be submitted to the committee. The report will also include if the land has been grabbed with threat, cheating or any other means of lure.

Committee under the leadership of District Magistrate will take a decision within 21 days from the day report has been submitted. If committee makes a decision that the crime falls under the Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act, then committee can approach for a police complaint and submit the decision. The police officer will have to register a complaint in 7 days from the day committee makes a decision to file a complaint.

Special Courts to be created for trial

Within 30 days of Police complaint, the charge sheet will have to be filed in the special courts created for the act. Investigation under the law will be done at the level of DySP.

Special courts have been created to make timely discharge of the case and uphold the justice to citizens.

ACT - Vijay Rupani -

Mr. Rupani said that it is very important that criminals are punished and justice is delivered in time. Therefore, it is decided that special courts will be created to discharge the cases under the law in maximum 6 months of time. For a speedy trial, public prosecutors will also be appointed in the courts.

As special courts are empowered with criminal and civil powers, land grabbers will face very strict actions. This will bring timely end to disputes and innocent citizens will get justice. In another provision of the act, the accused will have to prove before the court that he has not grabbed any land. This makes the burden of proof on land grabber. This will boost the speedy trial of the case.

In such cases, the buyer of the land will have to prove that the money used for the purchase of the land has been earned from his income source.

CM Rupani said that such strict provisions will set example and impart fear among the land grabbers. As provisions are implemented from day one, anyone who illegally grabs land, provides money for the construction, threatens owner, extorts rent or helps in any such activity will fall under the definition of land grabber.

Chief Minister added that the government is committed to the overall development of cities and take Gujarat on vibrant path with the prosperity in agriculture, business and animal husbandry. It is important that land is properly used for developmental activities and Gujarat Land Prohibition Act will prove a landmark decision in this direction.