PUBLIC LANDS (PROTECTION) ACT, 1974 (N.R.C.D. 240)

PUBLIC LANDS (PROTECTION) ACT, 1974 (N.R.C.D. 240)

DATE OF ISSUE: 29th January, 1974.

DATE OF GAZETTE NOTIFICATION: 5th February, 1974.

AN ACT to provide for the protection of public lands and for related matters.

1. Sale or attempted sale of public land

A  trespasser  who,  without  reasonable  excuse,  the  proof  of  which  lies  on  the  trespasser,  sells  or purports to sell, leases or otherwise disposes of public  land, or an interest in or a right over public land, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or to a fine not exceeding one thousand penalty units, or to both the imprisonment and the fine.

2. Unlawful occupation of public land

A trespasser who, without reasonable excuse, the  proof of which lies on the trespasser, occupies or encroaches on or interferes with a public land, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a  term  of  imprisonment  not  exceeding  three  years,  or  to  a  fine  not  exceeding  seven  hundred  and  fifty penalty units.

3. Removal of trespassers

(1)  Where a trespasser has unlawfully occupied or encroached on or interfered with a public land, the appropriate authority or a duly authorised agent of that authority may, in writing, serve a notice on the trespasser, personally or by affixing the notice to a part of the land affected, requiring the trespasser to vacate the land within twenty-one days from the date of the notice.

 

(2)  Where a trespasser refuses or fails to vacate the land within twenty-one days from the date of the notice referred to in subsection (1), the authority or a duly authorised agent of that authority may

(a) remove the trespasser from the land;

(b) confiscate or remove the goods of the trespasser from that land;

(c) abate a nuisance or terminate an interference caused by the trespasser on the land;

(d) confiscate, demolish or remove a structure or an obstacle on the land.

(3)  The authority or its duly authorised agent may use reasonable force necessary for the purpose of carrying out a measure specified in subsection (2).

(4)  A civil action shall not be brought against a person acting under this section in respect of an act done in good faith in the execution or intended execution of a provision of this section.

4. Act not a bar to other remedies

This Act does not constitute a bar to any other remedy which the appropriate authority may pursue under any other law.

5. Meaning of public land

(1)  For the purposes of this Act, public land includes land vested in the Republic, the President on behalf of the Republic, the Government, an organ or agency of the Government, or a statutory corporation, whether the land is vested in trust or otherwise.

(2)  Where in relation to proceedings under this Act, or in relation to an action taken or proposed to be taken  under  section  3,  a  doubt  arises  as  to  whether  the  land  is  public  land  within  the  meaning  of  this section,  the  Minister  responsible  for  Lands  may  in  writing  certify  that  the  land  is  public  land,  and  the certificate is conclusive evidence that the land is public land for the purposes of this Act.

6. Obstruction of authorised persons

A person who

(a) obstructs or insults a  person acting in the exercise of power or discharging a duty under section 3,

(b) refuses or fails to comply with a requirement made by a person in the exercise of a power or the discharge of a duty under section 3, or

(c) gives to a person exercising a power or discharging a duty under this Act an  information which is false in a material particular,

commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

7. Offences committed by a body of persons

(1)  Where an offence under this Act is committed by a body of persons

(a) in the case of body corporate, every director or officer of the body shall be deemed to have committed that offence; and

(b) in  the  case  of  a  partnership,  every  partner  or  officer  of  the  body  shall  be  deemed  to  have committed that offence.

(2)  A person shall not be convicted of an offence under subsection (1) if it is proved that the offence was committed without knowledge or connivance of, and that diligence was exercised by that person to prevent the commission of the offence having regard to the evidence.

8. Recovery of expenses

This Act shall not prevent the appropriate authority from recovering from a trespasser the expenses reasonably incurred by it in taking action under section 3.

9. Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,

authority” means an organ or agency of the Government or a statutory corporation in which land is vested, or an organ or agency of the Government which administers land vested in the Government or the President on behalf of the Republic;

trespasser” means a person who unlawfully occupies or encroaches on or interferes with a public land.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close
Close