SC orders firm to pay Rs 1.48 cr to BIAAPA

A bench of Justices R Banumathi and Indira Banerjee ordered the company to pay the sum in two months, with 6% interest from September 17, 1998, when the demand for the charges was made. 

The Supreme Court has directed Birla Super Bulk Terminal, now a unit of Ultra Tech Cement Ltd, to pay Rs 1.48 crore to the Bangalore International Airport Area Planning Authority as betterment and development charges of the land allocated to it by the KIADB. 

A bench of Justices R Banumathi and Indira Banerjee ordered the company to pay the sum in two months, with 6% interest from September 17, 1998, when the demand for the charges was made. The court set aside a October 21, 2005, ruling of the High Court of Karnataka, holding it had ignored the provisions of the KTCP Act about the development activities, including the fact that the industrial areas fall within the scope of the appellant-authority. The company is “bound to pay the betterment charges, road cess and other charges as per the laws”. 

The court noted that when other allottees like ITC paid Rs 3.01 crore as charges, the cement company could not challenge the levy. 

The bulk terminal near the Dodaballapur railway station, including the KIADB, contended that once the area was allotted to the industrial board and the acquisition and the allotment were made for industrial purposes, it came outside the purview of the Act. But the court, relying on the provisions of the act, said it was clear the levy of the fee was not merely for change of land use, but also for the development of the land or building. 

It also rejected the finance department’s opposition to the levying of charges, saying having been a party to the discussion, the government was wrong in contending that the lands in question were included in the industrial area and hence, not bound to pay the development fee. 

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SC orders firm to pay Rs 1.48 cr to BIAAPA

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