The Tripura High Court has directed the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC) to file affidavits disclosing details of public properties, in their unauthorised/illegal possession, in relation to which they are claiming title by way of adverse possession.
The bench of the Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Arindam Lodh has also sought the details of all the cases either pending or disposed off, before different forums, including Civil Courts or this Court, in this regard. It also directed the Secretary, Revenue Department, Govt. of Tripura to file his personal affidavit giving details of such properties including the land or super structure which are in unauthorised/illegal occupation of the political parties
The order was passed in a suo motu PIL registered by the Court, after it noticed that in Bishalgarh Sub-division alone there are 24 such properties which are in the unauthorised/illegal possession of three of these political parties.
While considering a revision petition challenging the order dismissing the application filed by the State seeking rejection of the plaint, the Chief Justice Sanjay Karol had observed:
It is shocking that National political parties, be it Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC), registered with the Election Commission of India are seeking to retain possession over public property by taking a plea of adverse possession. Such plea, immoral or unethical, is left for the electorate to decide, but insofar as the rights for the State are concerned, this Court is duty bound to protect the same
The judge had then referred the matter to division bench for treating the petition as a public interest litigation (PIL) calling upon all such political parties to show-cause as to why they be not ejected from the properties illegally/unauthorisedly retained in their possession, in relation to which action stands initiated by the appropriate authorities including the District Magistrate & Collectors/Sub-Divisional Magistrates having different jurisdiction.
Click here to Read/Download Order