New Delhi: All types of construction in
gram sabha land across the country are illegal as the land is
meant for common public purposes, the Supreme Court has ruled
and directed all states to forthwith demolish the unauthorised
structures on them and evict the encroachers.
A bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha
Mishra, while passing the direction, asked Chief Secretaries
of the states and union territories to comply with the orders
and file periodical compliance reports to the effect.
"In many states, government orders have been issued by
permitting allotment of gram sabha land to private persons and
commercial enterprises on payment of money. In our opinion,
all such government orders are illegal, and should be
ignored," the bench said in a written order.
The apex court passed the direction while dismissing the
appeal of Jaswant Singh who challenged his eviction from a
gram panchayat land in Rohar village of Punjab`s Patiala
Noting that gram sabha land are meant for preserving
water bodies, children`s play ground, community centres, etc,
the apex court asked the states to forthwith demolish all
unauthorised structures at these places constructed by
politicians, goonda and influential elements and restore it to
the gram sabhas.
"In this connection, we wish to say that our ancestors
were not fools. They knew that in certain years there may be
drought or water shortage for some other reason and water
was also required for cattle to drink and bath in etc. Hence,
they built a pond attached to every village, a tank attached
to every temple, etc. These were their traditional rain-water
harvesting methods which served them for thousands of years.