The Gujarat government on Wednesday decided to bring a strict law, with provision of up to 14-year jail term, to curb land grabbing activity in the state.
A proposal to bring a new law, called “Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act”, with stringent provisions was approved at a meeting of the state Cabinet, Revenue Minister Kaushik Patel told reporters in Gandhinagar.
Since the Assembly is not in session, the government will bring an ordinance to make provisions of the proposed law operational with immediate effect, said an official release.
Under the proposed legislation, special courts will be set up to ensure that such cases are disposed of within six months, said the release, adding the burden of proof will be on the accused.
Those found guilty of land grabbing will be liable for 10 years to 14 years of imprisonment and penalty equivalent to the jantri (government) rate of the land in question, it said.
While the government would appoint a special public prosecutor to speed up trial, special courts will be empowered to take up any land grabbing case suo motu, said the release.
The legislation will cover both public as well as privately-owned land, including those of farmers, trusts and religious bodies, it said.
The release said the stringent provisions of the proposed law would help rein in land mafias who take control of precious government or private land through forged documents or by threatening their owners.
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