Skip to content


A.V. Varkey Vs. Collector of Nilgiris and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectEnvironment
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1986)1MLJ241
AppellantA.V. Varkey
RespondentCollector of Nilgiris and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....if any, received in pursuance of such a notice. the rules framed styled as the tamil nadu forest lands (eviction of encroachments) rules, 1981, also provide for the issue of a notice and the taking of proceedings after the consideration of the representation, if any, made by the person in occupation. rule 2(1) enables the officer of the forest department, not below the rank of a forest ranger or an officer of the revenue department, not below the rank of a tahsildar, having jurisdiction over the area in which the said reserved forest or land is situated, to serve a notice in the form prescribed in the annexure to the rules on the person unauthorisedly occupying the reserved forest or land to show cause, within five days, as to why he should not be summarily evicted from such.....
Judgment:
ORDER

V. Ratnam, J.

1. In this writ petition, the petitioner has prayed for the issue of a Writ of Prohibition prohibiting the respondents from interfering with or dispossessing the petitioner from the lands now in his occupation. It is seen from the affidavit filed in support of the Writ Petition that the petitioner has come into possession of the land under his occupation a long number of years back and has also spent substantial amounts in improving the land and converting the same into plantation etc The complaint of the petitioner is that the respondent, of late has been resorting to summary dispossession of the petitioner from the lands in his occupation and that without conforming to the procedure laid down under Sections 6 and 7 of the Tamil Nadu Land Encroachment Act, 1905, the petitioner cannot be dispossessed, even on the footing that the petitioner is an encroacher. The petitioner has also prayed only for the limited relief viz., that if the petitioner is to be dispossessed from the lands on the ground that he is an encroacher, it should be so done after affording the petitioner a reasonable opportunity in that regard after serving a notice on him. It is now seen that under Tamil Nadu Act 41 of 1981, Section 68(A) has been introduced for the purpose of summarily evicting the persons who are in unauthorised occupation of any land in reserved forest. That section provides that any person, who is unauthorisedly occupying any land in reserved forest or any land at the disposal of the Government, may be summarily evicted by an officer of the Forest Department not below the rank of Forest Ranger or an officer of the Revenue Department not below the rank of Tahsildar, having jurisdiction over the area in which such land is situated, in such manner as may be prescribed. The section further enables the forfeiture of the crops on the land and even the building or anything deposited thereon. The proviso to Section 68(A) states that no eviction or adjudication under Section 68(A) adversely affecting a person shall be made or adjudged without giving such a person a notice in such manner as may be prescribed and without considering the representations, if any, received in pursuance of such a notice. The rules framed styled as the Tamil Nadu Forest Lands (Eviction of Encroachments) Rules, 1981, also provide for the issue of a notice and the taking of proceedings after the consideration of the representation, if any, made by the person in occupation. Rule 2(1) enables the officer of the Forest Department, not below the rank of a Forest Ranger or an officer of the Revenue Department, not below the rank of a Tahsildar, having jurisdiction over the area in which the said reserved forest or land is situated, to serve a notice in the form prescribed in the annexure to the rules on the person unauthorisedly occupying the reserved forest or land to show cause, within five days, as to why he should not be summarily evicted from such land and the property including standing crops and buildings and other constructions standing thereon should not be forfeited. Rule 2(2) affords the person in occupation an opportunity to make representations in writing to the Forest Ranger or Tahsildar, as the case may be, and only after considering the representation, the Forest Ranger or Tahsildar can proceed to pass orders. The rule also provides for the granting of time to the person in occupation in case orders are passed to the effect that the encroachment should be vacated. If, even after having been granted the time as prescribed under Rule 2(2), a person in unauthorised occupation of the land fails to vacate the encroachment, only then, the Ranger or the Tahsildar, as the case may be, shall either by himself or by deputing subordinate officers summarily evict him from the said, land and forfeit the property thereon. In view of the provisions contained in Section 68-A and the rules referred to above, it is obvious that the petitioner in this Writ Petition cannot be summarily dispossessed without resorting to the procedure indicated under Section 68-A and the rules framed thereunder. There will therefore, be a writ of mandamus directing the respondents to act strictly in accordance with the provisions of Section 68-A of the Tamil Nadu Forest Act and the rules framed thereunder in the matter of the eviction of the alleged encroachment by the petitioner. The rule nisi is made absolute to the extent indicated above and the Writ Petition is allowed. There will be no order as to costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //