Supreme Court raps BDA on Arkavathy

Pulled up for acquiring land without a plan

Supreme Court raps BDA on Arkavathy

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices R V Raveendran and D K Jain said, “In this case, out of the four villages included at the final stages of finalising the development scheme, irregularities have been found at least in regard to three villages, thereby emphasising the need for proper planning and survey before embarking upon acquisition.’’

The Bangalore Development Authority has been directed to give an option to the petitioners whose land has been acquired to accept allotment of 15 per cent of the land acquired from him, by way of developed plots, in lieu of compensation.

The Court also said in that cases where the extent of land acquired exceeded half an acre, the land loser should be allotted a plot measuring 1200 square feet for every half acre of land acquired at the prevailing allotment price.

Corrective measures

To salvage the acquisition, to avoid hardship to BDA and its allottees and to avoid prolonged further round litigations emanating from the directions of the High Court, a more equitable way would be to uphold the decision of the division bench, but subject BDA's actions to certain corrective measures by requiring it to re-examine certain aspects and provide an option to the landlosers to secure some additional benefit, as an incentive to accept the acquisition, said the judgment released here Thursday.

The bench directed the BDA to reconsider the acquisition of lands in Kempapura and Srirampura villages as large areas were not initially notified for acquisition, and more than 50 per cent of whatever that was proposed for acquisition was also subsequently deleted from acquisition.

The BDA has been directed to file a report in four months before the High Court considering whether the scheme with respect to the balance of the acquired lands was possible or not.

The Apex Court also said that in regard to villages of Venkateshapura, Nagavara, Hennur and Challakere, the BDA would review its decision to acquire as it has proposed to acquire very small pockets of lands surrounded by lands which were not acquired or which were deleted from the proposed acquisition.

‘’The acquisition thereof cannot be justified on the ground that these small islands of  acquired land, could be used as a stand alone park or playground in regard to a layout formed in different unconnected lands in other villages. Similar isolated pockets in other villages should also be dealt with in a similar manner,’’ said the judgement.

In 2003, BDA had acquired more than 3300 acres of land for the project. Many farmers had challenged the BDA decision before the Karnataka High Court.  After the High Court ruled in the favour of the Bangalore Development Authority, the farmers had appealed in the Apex Court.

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