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High Court Rejects Farmers’ Society Appeal Against Land Take Over On Yamuna Bank

It said since records show that members of the petitioner society, Yamuna Bank Kishan Bachao Morcha, are in unlawful occupation, the relief for compensation on the ground of DDA damaging the crop is not maintainable.

Ayushi Raina
High Court Dismisses Farmers' Society Plea Against Land Take Over On Yamuna Bank
High Court Dismisses Farmers' Society Plea Against Land Take Over On Yamuna Bank

'Petitioning is an abuse of the judicial process 

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has been barred from taking over a large tract of land on the Yamuna riverbank, according to the High Court. 

The court said the society has not been “able to establish any semblance of right on the property”. 

Justice Subramonium Prasad dismissed the Yamuna Bank Kishan Bachao Morcha's petition as a "mischievous petition," noting that "other than making a bald assertion that they have been in possession of the area for the last 100 years, there is no document on record to establish the possession." 

100 years claim 

The petitioner society stated that its members are farmers who have lived on the banks of the Yamuna for over a century and cultivate around 15,000 bighas of land. It said that the members have proof of their forefathers paying 'lagaan (tax)' from 1932 to 2012. On the property, the farmers plant radish, brinjal, potato, onion, and other vegetables and pay money to the Delhi Peasants Co-Operative Multipurpose Society Limited. 

The petitioner stated that on November 8, 2020, DDA officials gathered at their riverbank property to evict them. Excavators were used by the authorities, who were escorted by a police squad and two battalions of the CRPF and BSF. 

The High Court, on the other hand, rejected the plea stating that the society "cleverly did not disclose the place where they are carrying out their operations." The court further stated that on September 11, 2019, the National Green Tribunal ordered the construction of a bio-diversity park in the vicinity in order to cleanse the Yamuna. 

The DDA stated that it has an affirmative duty to protect the river Yamuna, its morphology, and its flood plains, as well as to keep the Yamuna floodplains free of encroachment hence it conducts frequent demolition and removal. 

No specific information 

The DDA's standing counsel, Advocate Prabhsahay Kaur, stated that the whole Yamuna floodplains are around 52 to 56 kms and covering an area of 1,267 hectares but the society has not given any specific area. 

 She added that the society's petition constituted an abuse of the legal process because its members had given the Supreme Court an undertaking that they would abandon the land. 

Taking notice of the plea, Justice Prasad stated that "since the records demonstrate that the petitioner/society members are in unlawful occupancy, the relief for compensation on the ground of DDA harming the crop is not maintainable." 

“This written petition is nothing but an abuse of the process of law and another attempt by the members of the petitioner society to cling on to the land while they have already been held to be unauthorized occupants and encroachers,” he added while dismissing the plea. 

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