Land Use, Prevention, Standing, Property, Permits, Civil, Remedies, Criminal, Liability, Jurisdiction
The Wazirpur Bartan Nirmata Sangh case WP (C) 2112/2002 started in the High Court of Delhi in 2002. As the case is of the nature of a continuing mandamus, it continues to be heard on a regular basis. Till date the Court has issued over fifty orders and judgments in this matter. This case is one of the landmark cases in the jurisprudence relating to the River Yamuna as it led to the removal of thousands of encroachments of varying nature from the banks of the river. In this public interest litigation the problem arose since the squatters and encroachers on public land had to be removed who could not be so removed in view of the policy of the respondents requiring the land to be first made available to such persons for their removal and relocation as a pre-requisite to their being moved from the areas where they had squatted. The validity and legality of the policy of the respondents for removal and relocation of jhuggi dwellers who squat on Government land unauthorised and are ultimately allotted parts of land acquired for planned Development of Delhi has to be decided in the present proceedings. The Court held the Government’s policy to allot land which it had acquired to squatters to be unlawful Once such land is acquired and persons are displaced for the public purpose, such land cannot be utilised for the purposes of providing accommodation to persons who have encroached on public land. If the scheme were to be devised for the economically weaker sections of society based on a rational criteria, it would achieve a social objective. But the basis cannot be encroachment on public land. The Court’s direction in this case led to a massive eviction drive of encroachers in the Yamuna Pushta area.