PUCL Bulletin, Feb., 2001

Move to regularize un-authorised constructions condemned
-- Insaaf International

Insaaf International strongly protests against the Punjab Government's move to regularize
unauthorized construction and occupation in urban local bodies in the state. As reported in the large section of press, this decision was taken at the meeting of the council of ministers at Chandigarh on 3.1.01. The reasons given for doing this are to provide relief to the illegal occupants from insecurity, provision of civic amenities to the illegal occupations, raising revenue and tedious and frustrating legal process to evict the unauthorized occupants. Nothing could be more unfortunate, discouraging and frustrating for law-abiding citizens and shameful for law enforcing and justice delivering agencies of this country.

The government has no right to the public property that has been illegally occupied y individuals due to corruption, inefficiency and political and bureaucratic backing of the government machinery itself. Instead of taking action against those responsible for allowing the unauthorized occupation of public property, the government is legalizing the offence. It will greatly encourage the corrupt, criminal, law-flouting element within and outside the government and future illegal occupation of the public property. There are thousands of municipal inspectors employed with state exchequer's money (public money) to supervise the safety and welfare of public property. But the construction on the public property is allowed in lieu of bribe or with patronage of politicians, bureaucrats or land Mafia. Commercial use/sale of public property without taking into consideration other factors, for sole reason of raising revenue, major chunk of which goes into maintaining white elephants of our ever growing administrative setup and political

Rajas is already playing havoc with the environment, regulation of traffic, parking
Space, public parks and green belt in urban areas.

The government has failed to provide basic civic amenities in the authorized colonies and occupations in the cities. But has put forth this reason along with similar other concocted reasons for legalizing the unauthorized occupation is nothing but a eyewash to legalize acts of corrupt, land Mafia and criminals with political patronage in view of the impending state assembly elections.

More over if the government gives such reasons as tedious and frustrating legal procedures for its inability to take legal recourse then it is promoting the hopelessness in common man to get any justice from the courts in this country. Insaaf strongly condemns this message sent out by the government of Punjab. Insaaf is sending a request along with the media reports to Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India and Punjab and Haryana High Court to take serious note of the matter.

Jan 4, 2001

-Dr. Vineeta Gupta, General Secretary, Insaaf international, Bhatinda

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