A petition filed before the Gujarat High Court has challenged several provisions of the Gujarat Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act 2020 along with Gujarat Land Grabbing Rules 2020, as ultra vires of the article 14, 20, 21, and 254 of the constitution of India.
The petition said the provisions of the act, as well as the rules, are an infraction of Article 20 of the Constitution of India as section 4(2) of the act makes continuous occupation a new offense in itself.
Therefore the penal law has been enacted with a retroactive effect which is a violation of Article 20(1) of the constitution. The provisions of the act and rules override duly recorded orders and decrees of the competent court.
Other contentions against Land Grabbing Act
The act allows the appointment of judges by state government contrary to the provision of section 9 of (code of criminal procedure) CrPC 1973, violating the fundamental and basic structure of the constitution of India.
The punishment provided under the provision of section 4(3) of the act can extend up to 14 years. The provisions of section 9 give power to the special court to try every case arising out of any alleged act of land grabbing whether before or after the commencement of the act, the petition said.
The petition further said the trial by the special court will also involve criminal liability. The rights available to the accused in an ordinary trial will not be available in a trial by a special court.
Apart from this, the special court may inflict more punishment than what was provided under ordinary law which is also not permissible under article 20 of the constitution. The matter is likely to be heard on February 18.
To read the latest news in Gujarati click here