Current Affairs

RTI Activist takes Tourism Minister to HC on Illegal Land Grab Scam

A Public Interest Litigation petition has been today filed before the Bombay High Court at Goa by Adv. Aires Rodrigues seeking directions that the 599 sq mts of prime land on the Chogm road at Porvorim alleged to have been fraudulently and illegally grabbed by Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar be immediately restored back to the Communidade of Serula. The petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues will come up for hearing before the High Court on October 22nd.

Besides Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar and the Goa Government, the Administrator of Communidade of North Zone, the Attorney of Communidade of Serula and the President of the Goa Administrative Tribunal have been made parties to the petition.

Adv. Aires Rodrigues has in his petition pointed out to the blatant misuse and abuse of power by Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, in connivance with his Under Secretary Irene Sequeira who is also the Administrator of Communidades of North Zone, and Peter Martins the attorney of the Communidade of Serula who is a Secretary at the Sangolda Panchayat in Dilip Parulekar’s Saligao constituency.

Adv. Rodrigues has submitted that Dilip Parulekar and these two officials conspired to fraudulently hand over to the Tourism Minister on a platter, valuable Communidade land at a throw away price in the guise of regularizing his encroachment to the extent of 599 sq meters of a prime land of Serula Communidade, along the CHOGM road at Porvorim bearing survey number 376/6 of Socorro village.

Pointing out that as per clause 1 of Article 380 of the Code of Communidade regularisation was possible only in cases of land which is valued at less than 1800 escudos or Rs 300, Adv. Rodrigues has in his petition further stated that the market value of the area encroached by Dilip Parulekar and submitted for regularization was more than Rs. one crore and that even the value mentioned by the Communidade itself was Rs 3, 41,320/- which was more than 10,000 times the value permitted by law for regularization.

Stating that the encroachment made by Dilip Parulekar could not have been regularized under law, Adv. Rodrigues has alleged that the entire process initiated for regularization commencing from the resolutions of the Communidade to the order of the Administrative Tribunal granting permission was void being entirely without jurisdiction and contrary to the Code of Communidade. 

Adv. Rodrigues has stated that it was surprising that in view of the specific bar for regularization of a property valued at more than Rs. 300,  that the regularization process was started and hurriedly culminated by the then President of the Administrative Tribunal Zaiwant Porobo on September 27th last year just few days before his retirement.

Adv. Rodrigues has stated that as the order of the Administrative Tribunal was entirely without jurisdiction, it had to  necessarily be set aside, along with the entire process for regularization which was also without jurisdiction and that the authorities were duty bound   to take action for restoration of possession of this land to the Communidade of Serula.

Alleging that the misuse and abuse of power could not have been more apparent, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that the whole malafied process of giving away this prime land to Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar smacks of the malaise of corruption which has to be nipped in the bud before it spreads and destroys the very fabric of society.

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