HC raps BDA, State on land acquisition

Further the High Court directed the then Special DC Bangalore to appear before the Court.

The petitioner, Adikeshavalu and others had moved the High Court challenging the BDA’s decision to acquire 3 acres 20 guntas of land after a long gap. Counsel for the petitioners, K Suman submitted that the BDA came up with a preliminary notification to acquire the land way back in 1988 and the final notification was issued in the year 1999. “After this there was no action on behalf of BDA to complete the process of acquisition,” he said.

The land owners, after this, sold their property to third parties who got it converted into residential area after obtaining a permission from the then Special DC Krishnegowda in 2004. The residents who constructed the houses by purchasing sites had a shock when the BDA issued notice to vacate the houses.

When the matter came up in the High Court, the court summoned Bharat Lal Meena, Commissioner, BDA and the then Special DC to explain the matter.

However, the latter did not appear before the Court. Additional Advocate to State government Venkatesh Dodderi submitted that both the then Special DC and BDA Commissioner had been informed of the need to be present in court.

Justice Shylendra Kumar was irate when the Commissioner was unable to answer about the delay in land acquisition which has led to the present situation.

“The BDA commissioner is the head of the Authority. The buck stops at you. You are answerable. You have to take responsibility to run the organisation in a people-friendly manner,” said the court.

Observing the fact that the special DC had permitted conversion of the land within 17 days after submitting the application, the court directed that Krishnegowda should appear before the court during the next hearing.

“Secure the presence of special DC in the next date of hearing. We want to understand under what circumstances the conversion order has been passed, when the land was acquired way back in 1999,” the court asked.

‘Follow the rules’

The Karnataka High Court has directed the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) not to initiate demolition drive without following due process of law.

Hearing a petition by T R Raju and 29 others, residents of Kothanur Village, challenging the BDA’s act to demolish their construction on October 5, 2008, Justice Shylendra Kumar has dismissed the petition with a liberty to the petitioners to challenge it in the lower court as well as awarded an ad hoc compensation of Rs 25,000 to the petitioners.

The BDA had issued a preliminary notification to acquire petitioners land 2.18 acres in 1988 and the final notification was issued on October 19, 1994. However, following the delay in completing the acquisition process, the petitioner had constructed houses and schools, which was demolished by BDA.

The petitioners had moved the High Court seeking directions to declare the acquisition as invalid stating that the acquisition of property of petitioners has lapsed on account of non-utility of land by BDA for more than a decade.

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