log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday THURSDAY JUNE 23, 2022 Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday 14 pages PRICE ` 6 The Goan (Playstore) PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VIII, NO.6 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 3 14 7 6 Compensation given to Pernem LAND WAR HOTS UP land losers ‘illegal’: HC to govt SIT makes another arrest in Assagao land-grab case GOA Celebrating Sao Joao the Goan way Action against TCP officials sought for constructions near Bainguinim WTP INDIA Maha crisis: Uddhav offers to quit, leaves CM residence ORDERS RECOVERY; PULLS UP OFFICERS FOR MODIFYING FINAL ORDER HIGH COURT OBSERVATIONS THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Land losers from Pernem who received compensation from the Goa government prior to the elections -- including some who were handed cheques by former minister Manohar “Babu” Ajgaonkar -- will now have to return the money after the Bombay High Court at Goa ruled that the money was illegally handed to them. The High Court has pulled up two land acquisition officers Ravishankar Nipanikar and Sudhir Kerkar for having “in total disregard of the legal position and breach of the principles of natural justice and fair play” gone ahead and modified the final order of compensation passed by their predecessor land acquisition officer. By final award dated 29.10.2015, N M Gad the then Land Acquisition Officer declared a compensation amounting to more than Rs 25 crore -- but owing to disputes for apportionment of the compensation, referred the disputes for apportionment of compensation for determination by the District Court IN SHORT >> 156 more test +ve for Covid in State PANAJI: The single day count of fresh Covid-19 infections rose to 156 on Wednesday at a staggering positivity rate of 12.76 per-cent. The daily health bulletin said, 1,222 samples were tested in the 24-hour period of Tuesday-Wednesday and 156 of them were reported positive. The bulletin also said, the State’s Covid-19 caseload inched up to 866. Six new Covid-19 patients got themselves admitted to hospital. 9,366 taxis installed meters: Govt to HC PANAJI: The Bombay High Court at Goa has disposed of a contempt petition that was filed by the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa after the State government in its compliance report told the court that out of the estimated 11,250 taxis operating in the State of Goa, 9,366 taxis have been fitted with meters. >> See pg 3 Colvale jail guard held with drugs MAPUSA: Another jail guard at the Colvale jail has been arrested for allegedly smuggling cocaine meant for one of the inmates, on Wednesday. Colvale Police arrested Suraj Gawade for attempting to smuggle cocaine weighing around 5 grams. >> See pg 3 1,000 killed in Afghan quake KABUL: A powerful earthquake struck a rural, mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan early Wednesday, killing 1,000 people and injuring 1,500 more in one of the country’s deadliest quakes in decades. Officials warned that the already grim toll may still rise. >> See pg 8 WEATHER >> Max: 29 C Min: 27 C Humidity: 88% TIDES Low: High: 00:39 12:16 07:27 18:24 It is apparent that Nipanikar and Kerkar had no power, authority, or jurisdiction to tinker with the final award dated 29.10.2015, almost four years after such award was made, that is on 02.11.2019. The two officers, almost four years after N M Gad made the final award dated 29.10.2015, have reviewed the same, and virtually vacated or modified the order of reference under Section 30 of the said Act These are not some simple procedural lapses as was sought to be contended by the learned Counsel for some of the respondents. Instead, these are serious breaches of substantive law. The two officers have usurped jurisdiction which was not vested in them and proceeded to review the final award made by their predecessor without even minimum regard to the principles of natural justice and fair play or the limits of their power, authority and jurisdiction under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The compensation amount was also directed to be deposited in the District Court. Four years later in 2019 Ravishankar Nipanikar, who took over as the land acquisition officer disbursed an amount of over Rs 5 crore to those, who claimed that they were the tenants of the acquired property. This claim was entirely premised on certain entries in survey records. He did so after securing an indemnity bond from the recipients that he would not be liable should any loss be accrued on account of the disbursal. Similarly, another land acquisition officer Sudhir Kerkar disbursed an amount of Rs 9 crore to another set of beneficiaries after they produced a declaration of tenancy and purchase sanads in addition to revenue records. Both disbursals were completely illegal, the High Court ruled. “It is apparent that Nipanikar and Kerkar had no power, authority, or jurisdiction to tinker with the final award dated 29.10.2015, almost four years after such award was made, that is on 02.11.2019. The two officers, almost four years after N M Gad made the final award dated 29.10.2015, have reviewed the same, and virtually vacated or modified the order of reference under Section 30 of the said Act,” the High Court observed. “These are not some simple procedural lapses as was Comunidades unite against govt move to amend code TO MEET TODAY AT MAPUSA COMUNIDADE GHOR THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Comunidades from across the State are closing ranks in a bid to stymie the State government’s move to amend the Code of Comunidades to give it greater powers over the ageold community institutions. Representatives of several Comunidades are gearing up to meet at the Comunidade Ghor at Mapusa on Thursday evening in a show of strength to oppose some of the changes in the Code of Comunidades mooted by the State government’s Revenue Department. The representatives are expected to address a press conference after the meeting. The State government had recently circulated its proposal to amend the Code of SHOW OF STRENGTH Representatives of several Comunidades are gearing up to meet at the Comunidade Ghor at Mapusa on Thursday evening in a show of strength to oppose some of the changes in the Code of Comunidades mooted by the State government’s Revenue Department Comunidades to the administrators of the three zones with instructions to forward them to the various Comunidades for feedback. Although it is uncertain whether the government is keen to push through the amendments during the upcoming monsoon session of the Goa legislative assembly, Revenue Minister Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate did not shed any clarity on the issue. On Wednesday, Monserrate said, he was not aware of any move to amend the Code of Comunidades since he took charge of the Revenue Department, adding however that if there is any such proposal, it has to come for approval of the Cabinet. The changes in the Code proposed by the government include giving itself powers to acquire lands for public projects even without consent of the respective Comunidades and powers to dismiss rogue managing committees >Continued on P5 sought to be contended by the learned Counsel for some of the respondents. Instead, these are serious breaches of substantive law. The two officers have usurped jurisdiction which was not vested in them and proceeded to review the final award made by their predecessor without even minimum regard to the principles of natural justice and fair play or the limits of their power, authority and jurisdiction,” the High Court also said. “The decision-making process is entirely flawed. The plea of alleged good faith is too lame to defend or justify the actions of the two officers,” the High Court further said. “The State Government must take expeditious steps to recover the amounts from the private respondents. The State should consider involving Nipanikar and Kerkar in recovering these amounts totaling Rs 15 crore. But for their illegal and ultra vires acts, such a situation might not have arisen,” the High Court ruled while also imposing costs of Rs 25,000 each on Nipanikar and Kerkar for their misdeeds. THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The special investigation team (SIT) set up to probe dubious land deals including sale deeds and transfer (mutation) effected a second arrest in the case related to the Assagao parcel of land on Wednesday. St Inez resident, Mohammad Suhail (46) was arrested by the SIT for his alleged involvement in the same case of alleged land grab of Assagao in which Gogol resident Vikrant Shetty was arrested on Sunday last. Shetty had been arrested on Sunday and a Mapusa court had remanded him to five days police custody. Investigations have provided the SIT leads into several other cases of fraudulent transfer land in North Goa. Meanwhile Revenue Minister Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate has pledged total co-operation from his department with the ongoing investigations in the alleged land grabbing cases. Monserrate said officers of the Revenue department will fully cooperate and provide all documents asked for by the investigators. SPORTS Liverpool’s forward Sadio Mane joins Bayern Munich Porvorim police register case against 6 persons PORVORIM: Porvorim police have registered a cheating case against six persons on charges of fraudulently transferring land rights and selling off the property. The complainant, Jeromino D’Souza of Socorro, had filed a complaint with Porvorim Police, stating that an area of 5,000 sq mtrs of land was in the name of his deceased parents. There was some similarity in the names of the deceased parents of the complainant and the parents of two accused. Taking advantage of this similarity in the names, the accused are alleged to have prepared papers of the land and submitted them to the government office. There later developed plots and sold them. On receipt of the complaint, Porvorim police registered the offence under Sections 465, 468, 471, 419 and 420 (34) of IPC. Sub Police Inspector Pramila Fernandes is investigating the case under the guidance of Police Inspector Anant Gaonkar. Arbitrarily changed zoning will be reverted: Vishwajit PANAJI: Zoning of chunks of land arbitrarily changed in Outline Development Plans (ODPs) with reference to the Regional Plan 2021, which is the base plan, will be reverted, Town and Country Planning Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Wednesday. Rane said, several lands which are arbitrarily converted to orchard, open spaces, natural cover and no development zones will be reverted. >> See pg 3
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