HC reserves order on sale of 300 Gir plots
Justice MR Shah of the Gujarat high court on Friday reserved order on 300 land plots near the Gir reserve forest area.
Justice Shah had directed the local authorities to conduct a survey on Monday to find out the status of the plots owned by Anil Chudasama, who had filed a petition against the forest department.
The direction came after Chudasama countered the claim of forest department.
"According to a notification of the state government issued in 1997, the land does not fall under the jurisdiction of forest department but under the revenue department," argued VM Trivedi, counsel for Chudasama. "The forest department therefore can't restrain him from cultivation activity," he added.
The high court had suggested the state government that the Junagadh collector and the chief conservator of forest shall jointly examine 588 cases of allotment of plots for resettlement of Maldharis and ascertain as to whether the said plots fell within the sanctuary forest area or revenue area.
Chudasama had bought a plot of land near Mendarada taluka from a Maldhari who was given the plot under the rehabilitation scheme by the state government in 1982. Chudasama recently approached the high court when the forest department objected to cultivation activity on the land. Meanwhile, it came to light that as many as 300 plots, which were given to Maldharis under the resettlement scheme, were bought by third parties.
The high court raised serious objection to selling of such plots and asked the Junagadh collector and the forest department to furnish details about such transfer of ownership of land.