Legal Advice

Unauthorised construction on gram sabha land

Question: Requesting the police to arrange for a revenue officer's survey to address issues of trespassing and unauthorized construction on gram sabha land, while the panchayat is not pursuing legal action.


In the case of unauthorized construction on gram sabha land, the villagers have the right to take action against such encroachments. You are entitled to initiate a civil suit against the individual who has constructed house etc on the gram sabha land under Section 67 of the Uttar Pradesh Land Revenue Code 2006.

There is no requirement to wait for the survey report before proceeding. As a resident of the gram sabha with knowledge of encroachment on its land, you can directly file a civil suit in the Assistant Collector’s court.

Section 67 of the U.P. Revenue Code outlines the statutory duties of the Assistant Collector in preventing damage, misappropriation, and wrongful occupation of Gram Sabha property. Here is a summary of its key provisions:

  1. When property entrusted to a Gram Sabha or local authority is damaged or misappropriated, or when land intended for a specific purpose is occupied unlawfully, the Bhumi Prabandhak Samiti or relevant authority shall inform the Sub-Divisional Officer.
  2. Upon receiving this information or if otherwise satisfied that such damage or misappropriation has occurred, the Sub-Divisional Officer issues a notice to the concerned person, asking them to explain why compensation for the damage, misappropriation, or wrongful occupation should not be recovered from them, or why they should not be evicted from the land.
  3. If the recipient of the notice fails to respond within the specified time or provides an insufficient explanation, the Sub-Divisional Officer may order their eviction, using necessary force if required, and may recover the compensation as arrears of land revenue.
  4. If the Sub-Divisional Officer determines that the person is not responsible for the damage, misappropriation, or wrongful occupation, the notice is discharged.
  5. An aggrieved person can appeal to the Collector within thirty days of the Sub-Divisional Officer’s order under sub-section (3) or (4).
  6. Except for appeals as specified in sub-section (5), the Sub-Divisional Officer’s orders under this section are considered final.
  7. The specific procedure to be followed in implementing the actions under this section is determined by the prescribed regulations.

This section clarifies that the term “land” includes trees and buildings on the land for the purposes of these provisions.

Rule 67 of the U.P. Revenue Code, 2016 outlines the procedure for taking action in cases involving damage, misappropriation, and wrongful occupation of gram panchayat property. Here is a summary of its key provisions:

  1. The Assistant Collector, upon receiving information or acquiring knowledge of such issues, may initiate an inquiry to gather specific information, including:
    • Details of the damage, misappropriation, or wrongful occupation (including property description, location, and market value).
    • Full identification of the responsible person (name and parentage).
    • Duration of wrongful occupation, damage, or misappropriation, and the soil classification of the affected land.
    • Assessment of property damage or misappropriation based on the prevailing market rate.
  2. The Assistant Collector issues a notice in R.C. Form-20 to the person responsible, asking them to explain why compensation for the damage, misappropriation, or wrongful occupation should not be recovered from them and why they should not be evicted from the land.
  3. If the notice remains unanswered or the provided explanation is insufficient, the Assistant Collector can:
    • Order eviction using necessary force if required.
    • Recover the specified compensation and expenses as arrears of land revenue.
  4. The amount of compensation and expenses is determined as follows:
    • For damage or misappropriation, compensation is assessed at the market rate.
    • For unauthorized occupation, compensation is calculated at five percent of the market value of the land for each year of occupation.
    • Expenses of execution are assessed based on one day’s pay and allowances for the staff involved.
  5. If the person wrongfully occupying the land has cultivated it, they can retain possession until the crop is harvested, but they must pay an amount equivalent to five percent of the land’s market value, credited to the appropriate fund.
  6. The Assistant Collector aims to conclude proceedings within 90 days of issuing the show cause notice. Reasons for any delay must be recorded.
  7. The Land Management Committee or local authority may still prosecute a person who re-encroaches on the same land, and a register is maintained to record damages and compensation details.
  8. Progress reports on realization of damages and compensation are sent to the Board of Revenue every April and October.
  9. Nothing in these rules prevents anyone from establishing their rights in a court of competent jurisdiction regarding any matter subject to Section 67 of the Code.

This rule establishes the procedure for addressing issues related to gram panchayat property, including damage, misappropriation, and wrongful occupation, as prescribed by the U.P. Revenue Code, 2016.

Upon receiving information or otherwise becoming aware of damage, misappropriation, or unlawful occupation of property as described in sub-section (1), the Assistant Collector shall issue a notice to the person responsible. This notice requests them to provide reasons why compensation for the damage, misappropriation, or wrongful occupation, not exceeding the specified amount, should not be recovered from them and why they should not be evicted from the land. If the person fails to respond within the given time frame or provides an insufficient explanation, the Assistant Collector may order their eviction, using necessary force as required, and recover the compensation as arrears of land revenue.

Sub-section 5 of Section 67 of the Code allows any aggrieved party to appeal within thirty days of the Assistant Collector’s order under sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) by filing an appeal with the Collector. In this manner, Section 67, in conjunction with Rule 67, establishes a comprehensive framework for eviction and the prevention of damage, misappropriation, and wrongful occupation of gram panchayat property.


Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow

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