The Standing Committee of South Goa Communidades threatened to haul the government for contempt of court for its failure to implement the Supreme Court order pronounced in January this year directing the government to clear encroachments on government and land held in common.
Interpreting the “land held in common” to be Communidade land as it is used for the benefit of the public in general, the Standing Committee regretted that the Goa government had not taken any step to implement the Supreme Court order.
Briefing media persons, the Standing Committee members said that if no action is forthcoming, they will be forced to file a contempt petition against the government and the Chief Secretary who has been directed by the Supreme Court to implement the order.
The Standing Committee also decried the circular issued by the Administrator of South Goa Communidades directing concerned Communidade to file a First Information Report with the police. “This is a sheer case of abdication of responsibilities,” said Joao Philip Pereira who pointed out that under the Code of Communidade, it was the responsibility of the Administrator to evict encroachers on Communidade land.
August Monteiro, another member of the Standing Committee castigated the authorities for keeping on hold financial matter of Communidades that have defaulted in payment of the derama. He argued that this will have a direct impact on the functioning of the Communidade and particularly with regards to payments of the fees to advocates dealing with the legal matters of those Communidades.
He pointed out that the accounts have not been audited since 1983 and yet the government was seeking to penalize Communidades for no fault of theirs.
Terming the translation of the Code of Communidades in English as illegal and unofficial, Joao Philip Pereira said this matter was be dealt with by seeking recourse through the courts.