Bhubaneswar: In a bid to curb land grabbing, Odisha government today decided to promulgate the Odisha Land Grabbing Prohibition Ordinance, 2014.
The decision in this regard was taken at the Cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
Since the state legislature is not in session, the state government decided to go for an ordinance, Chief Secretary G C Pati told reporters after the meeting.
The ordinance will provide for criminal prosecution of land grabbers which could lead to imprisonment of up to seven years, he said.
"The ordinance will be issued under Article 213 of the Constitution," Pati said.
It has come to the notice of the government that organised attempts were being made on the part of certain lawless persons operating individually or in groups to grab either by force or by deceit or otherwise land belonging to the government, local authority, religious or charitable institution or wakf, Pati pointed out.
"As public order is also adversely affected ... By such unlawful activities of land grabbers in the state, particularly in respect of urban and urbanisable lands, it is felt necessary to arrest and curb such unlawful activities immediately by enacting a special law in this regard," the chief secretary said.
Under the ordinance, it is proposed to establish a special court, which will have the power to take cognisance and try every case arising out of any alleged act of land grabbing suo motu or an application filed by any officer, authority or person. The special court will be deemed to be a "Civil Court" and Court of Session" for the purpose of the proposed ordinance, he said.