The plot of land being sought by the criminal society has been reserved for criminal tribes since the British era.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has directed the ministry of social welfare to take immediate and appropriate steps on the petition of criminal tribes seeking allotment of a plot of land reserved for them in Solapur. The court has also asked the state to consider the demands of the criminal tribes for rehabilitation and reformation. The plot of land being sought by the criminal society has been reserved for criminal tribes since the British era.
The division bench of Justices Shantanu Kemkar and Prakash Naik was hearing the petition filed by Niyojit Vimukt Jati (Maji Gunhegar Jamati) Sahakari Gruhanirman Sanstha seeking direction to the ministry of social welfare to allot 60-70 acres of plot reserved for criminal tribes during the British era near Solapur to the sanstha as it belonged to a criminal tribe which is now referred to as denotified tribe.
According to advocate Ashok Tajane representing the petitioners, the sanstha or society consists of 400-500 persons. The British rulers had enacted the Criminal Tribe Act which sought to restrain criminals in prescribed areas so that they could be reformed and thus be included in the mainstream. “The British had reserved land for such groups in all districts, and though the act was repealed after Independence, the reservations still continue. The society includes various tribes like Pardhi, Takari, Rajput Bhamta and Chhappar baandh are seeking a plot near Solapur to make a housing society for themselves and their families,” said Tajane.
He further added that the society had been making representation to the government for the allotment of the plot since the past five years but as it had failed to respond the it, and so it had approached the court with demands for allotment of land along with other amenities like road, water, light, school, hospital and social recreation hall.
The court directed the ministry for social welfare to hold a meeting with the society.