Apex court to Gujarat HC: Donít meddle in land allotment

The Supreme Court has rapped the Gujarat High Court for imposing stringent conditions on the state government for allotment of land to people who had been evacuated for setting up an agricultural university.

Transfer of property can be prohibited only by provision of law and not by judgements or directions of high courts, a Bench comprising Justices A R Lakshmanan and Altamas Kabir has held while upholding the evacuees' contention.

The decision brings to a successful end the 30-year-old legal battle by the evacuees in which they had challenged the Gujarat High Court's decision to impose conditions prohibiting the use of the allotted land for non-agricultural purposes or selling it. The appellants Kansing Kalusing Thakore and others belonging to Rasna Nana village were allotted alternative land by the Gujarat government which acquired their private lands for the purpose of setting up an agriculture university.

However, it was alleged that some local land grabbers who bore a personal vendetta against the appellants moved a PIL before the high court and obtained an injunction restraining the allotees from either using the allotted land for non-agriculture purposes or selling the same to others for a period of 15 years.

Upholding the appellants contention, the Supreme Court noted that it was clearly evident through records that the PIL was filed by the people who encroached upon the land sought to be allotted to the evacuees.

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