Clear Railway Land of encroachments by Feb 9: Uttarakhand HC

Dehradun: A two-judge bench of the Nainital High Court of Justice Rajeev Sharma and Justice Alok Singh today ordered removal of encroachments from railway land in Haldwani by February 9.

The state government had filed a review petition of the court order dated 9.11.2016 regarding eviction of railway land at the Ghafur Basti in Haldwani. Rejecting the application, the court directed the Chief Secretary and the DGP police to provide security to railway authorities to remove encroachers. The court ruled that encroachers be evicted on or before February 9, 2017.

The state government had pleaded that no demarcation of the property of railways has been undertaken. Thus, removal of the encroachers could not be undertaken. The land on which the houses have been constructed is the Abadi land and there was a reference to few sale deeds in the application. The court observed that the state government has tried to espouse the cause of the persons who are occupying the railway land unauthorisedly.

The court ruled that the land belongs to the railways and it is the bounden duty of the railway authorities to evict the encroachers from the government land. The Chief Secretary as well as the Director General of Police were directed to provide necessary police force to evict the encroachers from the land which has already been demarcated and eviction orders have been passed. The court also directed the government to undertake demarcation of remaining land and serving of notices within two weeks. The police force should be adequate to meet every exigency on the spot at Haldwani. It is made clear that in case the adequate police force, as directed, is not provided to the railway authorities at Haldwani to implement the order passed by this court in letter and spirit, then it would amount to failure of constitutional machinery and the consequences may ensue.

The Chief Secretary and the DGP shall be personally responsible to obey the orders failing which they would be dealt with under the contempt proceedings under Article 215 of the Constitution of India, the court observed.