A High powered panel constituted by the Government of Himachal Pradesh today assessed and reviewed the encroachment cases in the State under the chairmanship of Health, Revenue and Law Minister, Mr. Kaul Singh Thakur. The Revenue Minister said that Himachal being a welfare State, it should be the responsibility of the State to protect the rights particularly connected to the livelihood of the people and in view of magnitude of the livelihood and the human approach, the State Government was making all out efforts to provide relief to the small and marginal farmers of the State. However the Government was strict against the big encroaches and action was being taken accordingly against the defaulters, he added.
The Committee after detailed discussion directed the Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Financial Commissioner Revenue to explore all the possible legal options in the ambit of law and put up suggestions before the committee whether the small and marginal farmers and farmers belonging to backward areas having less than 10 bighas of land could be provided some relief. It was apprised that an application for seeking deferment on hearing the encroachment cases made against small encroaches over the Government land was filed in the Honorable High Court but the same was still pending adjudication.
A decision was also taken to examine and explore the possibility as to whether any Act can be brought to regularize the encroachments made on Government land by small and marginal farmers. It was also decided to explore all possible legal remedies to file a review petition in Honorable High Court, to provide relief to the small and marginal farmers who have encroached upon the government land in dire necessity on humanitarian grounds.
The Committee also decided to explore the possibility of making request to the Honorable High court to hear various CWPILs pending adjudication pertaining to removal of encroachment on the Government land by clubbing them together and placed before a special bench so that there may be uniformity in directions qua manner of removal of encroachments.
Suggestions were also sought on the issue as to whether Himachal Pradesh Regularization of Encroachments (in certain cases) on Government Land and Disposal of Government Land Rules, 2002 can be amended to provide relief to marginal and small farmers. The next meeting of the Committee has been fixed on 28th of January in Shimla at 1100hrs.