Law must be amended to protect land with absentee owners, no heirs, says Goa CM

The announcement comes after SIT arrested four people, including two officials from the Department of State Archives and Archaeology, for alleged land grabbing.

The announcement comes after SIT arrested four people, including two officials from the Department of State Archives and Archaeology, for alleged land grabbing.

The Goa government will change the law to protect ‘No Man’ properties in the state whose original owners are out of the country or have no heirs.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, after chairing a high-level meeting on Monday on the issue of land grabbing, said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) had dismantled a gang that was monitoring these properties.

“We will be proposing an amendment to the law at the next session of the Assembly to protect ‘No Man’ properties whose original owners are overseas or who have no heirs,” said the CM.

Four people, including two officials employed by the Department of State Archives and Archaeology, were recently arrested by the SIT for alleged land grabbing.

Mr Sawant said this gang falsified the documents of at least 91 properties, ranging in size from 8,000 square meters to 80,000 square meters, after realizing that these plots had no owners or heirs.

“The full list of 91 properties has been forwarded to collectors in both districts with instructions that further transfer or conversion of these properties should not be permitted. Those who have purchased these properties should immediately contact the relevant collector. We will make public list of such properties by Monday (today) evening,” Mr. Sawant informed.

He added that Minister of Archives and Archeology Subhash Phal Dessai and Minister of Justice Nilesh Cabral would be summoned to the next meeting to review the progress of the SIT in investigating the land grabbing cases.