Shimla: In a matter related to encroachment of government land in Chamba district and non-execution of eviction orders by the state, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday has directed the state government to provide the statistics pertaining to the entire state, regarding the cases that have been filed against the government in any capacity whatsoever and where interim orders are operating against the government.

The Court has also been directed to submit as to what date the interim orders are operating and what efforts the Government has made to get them vacated.

The orders have been passed by a Division Bench comprising the Acting Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua on a petition filed by Tek Chand, resident of Chamba district. In the petition, he has alleged that the encroachment over the government land in Gram Panchayat Panjoi was started by a few miscreants which have now increased to over 50 and they have built houses/shops over the same and have also taken the electricity connection for these shops without submitting any requisite documents.

He has further alleged that the land of school has also encroached and illegal activities are going on in and around the school in these shops, which is neither in the interest of the public nor the students studying therein.

He has alleged that he made several complaints against many persons and the eviction proceedings were initiated against them but the proceedings are going on for years without any action against the encroachers, who are still enjoying the profit from the encroached land.

 The petitioner has further alleged that he filed a writ petition and contempt petition also in this behalf and after passing of orders in the same, the respondent State has concluded the eviction proceeding and issued the eviction order against the encroachers, but has not yet dispossessed the encroachers from the government land. He has urged that the State may be directed to comply with the eviction orders issued by the respondent authorities and bring the eviction proceeding to its logical end.

During the course of the hearing, the affidavit of the Deputy Commissioner, Chamba was filed in this behalf, wherein he has stated that eviction proceedings were initiated against 47 encroachers and eviction orders were passed against all of them. However, the eviction orders were executed against 26 persons only as 21 persons filed appeals before the Appellate Authority-cum-Divisional Commissioner, Kangra at Dharamshala and in these appeals stay orders were passed on July 27, 2017, and March 26, 2018. 

He has stated that all these matters have been fixed for August 16, 2021, and the application for vacation of interim orders and for early hearing will be filed before Appellate Authority within four days.

The Additional Advocate General assured the compliance of Court orders and also informed the Court that the question of issuing notices for damages for illegal occupation of the premises of the lands will also be considered by the Government by the next date. The Court has posted the matter after four weeks.

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Navneet Rathore is a Shimla based journalist having two-years of experience in the field of journalism. Navneet is a post-graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and is specialised in crime, education, health, environment, agriculture and Horticulture beats.