Illegal govt land occupants can’t claim ownership: Supreme Court

Persons in illegal occupation of government or panchayat land cannot claim regularisation as a matter of right, the Supreme Court has said.

A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah said regularisation of the illegal occupation of government or panchayat land could only be as per the policy of the state government and the conditions stipulated in the rules.

The SC was hearing a plea filed by residents of Sarsad village in Haryana’s Sonepat who encroached upon panchayat land and constructed houses. The Haryana Government in 2000 framed a policy regarding sale of panchayat land in unauthorised possession outside ‘abadi deh’ (the residential area of a revenue estate).

Haryana also amended the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules, 1964, and issued a notification in 2008.

In 2008, Rule 12(4) was incorporated in the 1964 Rules, which authorises gram panchayat to sell its non-cultivable land in ‘shamlat deh’ (vacant land) to the inhabitants of the village who have constructed their houses on or before March 31, 2000.

The petitioners in this case, who were in illegal possession of the land belonging to gram panchayat, filed an application under Rule 12(4) of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules, 1964. — PTI

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