Observing that many government properties and porombokke lands are being taken away by private parties viz.
A division bench comprising Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice R Pongiappan, made the observation while hearing a plea wherein the government pleader and district officials had reportedly collided with a person (sixth respondent) to enable him to obtain an ex-parte order regarding certain lands classified as Natham Porombokke at Marchanayakkanpalayam village in Pollachi taluk.
Noting that the records produced before this court would show that despite many opportunities given to the officials, no written statement came to be filed and, therefore, the official respondents were set ex-parte in the suit, the bench said, “Though this court is not inclined to go into the issue with regard to the dispute regarding the title of the property, the facts would reveal that the government pleader’s conduct is suspicious. It seems that he has colluded with the sixth respondent as a result of which written statement has not been filed.”
“Since the Sub-Collector, Pollachi, passed an order prohibiting the sixth respondent from putting up any construction as it is a Natham Poramboke land, the officials should have given correct details by way of a written statement. However, no written statement has been filed. Hence, there is a reason to believe that there is a collusion between the government pleader and the sixth respondent and the officials,” the bench said while granting an interim stay of all proceedings until further orders.
However, the bench, led by Justice Kirubakaran, noting that this court is of the view that this case is only the tip of the iceberg, said the value of the lands has now gone up and, therefore, the lands have to be preserved for public purposes. Otherwise, the land grabbers will swallow the properties and unjustly enrich themselves.
Based on this, the bench which suo motu impleaded the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department, the Revenue Department and Commercial Taxes and Registration Department on behalf of the state sought details regarding the extent of available government/porombokke lands (district wise) and the extent of the properties which have been encroached upon.
The other queries raised included the number of proceedings initiated to retrieve those properties, the number of cases left undefended by the government pleaders in various courts throughout Tamil Nadu and the actions taken against those government pleaders as well as the government officials for not defending the cases to protect the government/porombokke properties.
The bench also sought the government’s response to its suggestion of forming a separate wing to identify the encroached porombokke properties and initiate proceedings to retrieve them and protect the available properties by fencing them.Scope of uploading details of porombokke properties in the website, so that everybody get to know the details of such properties and whether the government has given the details of porombokke properties to the concerned district registration office to prohibit the sub-registrars from registering any document concerning such properties also formed part of the queries raised.
The plea is set to be taken up for further hearing after three weeks.