Categories: Goa News

Administrative tribunal upholds Collector’s order for demolition

Panaji: The administrative tribunal has upheld the North Goa District Collector’s order to demolish the illegal structures located in the low-lying agricultural land at Merces.

The appellants Rita Rego and her husband Joao Rego had filed a petition in December 2018 before the tribunal challenging the demolition order and had termed the order illegal.

The Collector, following the complaint filed by a social activist Aires Rodrigues, referring to a contempt petition pending before High Court regarding illegal landfilling of Merces communidade fields along the Ribandar-Merces road, had ordered to remove the illegal structure and restore the land to its original position.

The tribunal, however, rejected their appeal and said if the order of the Collector is adversely affecting the appellants then it was for them to approach the High Court, and in the present case the Collector has followed the direction of the High Court.

The tribunal observed that Collector has rightly initiated action under amended Section 33 of Goa Land Revenue Code which allows the Collector to take action against the owner of the land or such person without issuing notice and recover the cost of restoring the land from such person.

Pronouncing the judgment, the president of the tribunal Rajesh Narvekar said that the appellants should not be allowed to shirk away from the responsibility of illegal conversion.

“No one should be permitted to use the judicial process for earning undeserved gains or unjust profits,” the order reads.

The Collector, after receiving the complaint, had asked the flying squad to conduct an inspection wherein it was found that illegal sheds were erected after filling up the land without a prior permission.

After perusing the inspection report, the Collector then ordered the chief town planner of TCP to immediately inspect the site and structures in the property under survey number 37/5 of Morambi-O-Grande to give specific recommendation regarding extent of land filling required to be removed from the site. The TCP inspection report stated the filing has been done at 1.5 metre height and illegal structures found erected covering area of 468 square metres in violation of Section 17A of TCP Act.  After considering the report, the Collector then directed the principal chief engineer to restore the land and remove land filling within 15 days.

During the hearing of the case, the tribunal observed that filling of land undertaken by the appellant amounts to lopsided development that would result in environmental damage.

“It is the duty of this tribunal to ensure that the legal process is not abused by the litigants in any manner. The tribunal should never permit a litigant to perpetuate illegality by abusing the legal process,” the order mentions.


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