Gandhinagar, Sep 24 (IANS) The Gujarat Assembly on Thursday passed The Gujarat Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Bill, 2020. The Bill seeks to curb land grabbing in the state by setting up special courts. It has provisions for stringent action with a jail term of upto 14 years and a fine extending to the (Jantri) value of the land.
Minister for Revenue Kaushik Patel presented the Bill during the ongoing monsoon session of the 14th state assembly on Thursday and it was passed unanimously by the House. The state government had earlier brought in an ordinance to the same effect on August 25 as the House was not in session then.
Under the provisions of the new law, special courts will be set up to dispose off cases within 6 months. The special courts would also take up cases on a suo moto basis. The burden of the proof will be on the accused. Those found guilty of grabbing land will be punished with a jail term ranging from 10 years to a maximum of 14 years and with a fine extending to the Jantri (ready reckoner) of such properties or land.
The Bill is empowered to override the existing laws pertaining to land and property and any other provisions contained in any other law in force or custom which are inconsistent with the provisions of the new Bill. The legislation will cover both government as well as privately owned land, properties and also the properties of trusts and religious organisations.
According to the government, it has been observed that some persons operating individually or in groups, make fictitious claims and indulge in large scale fraudulent sale of land through unscrupulous real estate dealers and also grab land either by force or deceit. The proposed law, believes the government, will curb such illegal activities.