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HC asks Odisha officer to plant at least 50 trees for arbitrarily penalizing poor woman

“This Court directs the Tahasildar to at least plant 50 numbers of trees needed to be planted roadside in any sector in the C.D.A. area in the involvement of Cuttack Development Authority,” the single-judge bench of Justice Biswanath Rath.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

Expressing strong displeasure over an official levying penalty on an under-privileged woman on encroachment charge without providing her the opportunity of hearing, the Orissa High Court has directed the Kakatpur Tahasildar Biranchi Narayan Behera to plant at least 50 trees in Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) area.

“This Court directs the Tahasildar to at least plant 50 numbers of trees needed to be planted roadside in any sector in the C.D.A. area in the involvement of Cuttack Development Authority,” the single-judge bench of Justice Biswanath Rath stated in an order.

“When a proceeding is initiated under a statute, it has a definite purpose for consideration more, particularly, when the matter involves encroachment. Looking to the nature of the case and for the involvement of eviction of a person from his residence, the Tahasildar has a responsibility to find whether the encroacher is an educated and law knowing person or not”, Justice Rath observed in the verdict.

Further, the Tahasildar has to see the encroacher if belongs to a weaker section or person downtrodden in the society having not even sufficient income to take the aid of counsel, Justice Rath noted in the order.