SC verdict on Roerich estate likely today

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia would pass the verdict also determining if the individual, whose property has been acquired, could claim compensation as a matter of right.

The Bench also comprising Justices Mukundakam Sharma, K S Radhakrishnan, Swatanter Kumar, and Anil R Dave would decide the petitions filed K T Plantation, and Mary Joyce Poonacha and others challenging the Karnataka’s 1996 Acquisition Act and the decision to acquire properties of the actress.

The Karnataka Legislative Assembly had passed the Roerich & Devikarani Roerich Estate (Acquisition and Transfer) Act, 1996 to acquire all lands and movable assets that the Roerich couple owned. They had developed the ‘Tataguni Estate’ which included a house having paintings by Dr Roerich.

K T Plantations Private Limited had acquired a part of the lands owned by the Roerich couple under a registered sale deed in the year 1991. It bought more land from Devika Rani in 1992, and were handed possession of the land immediately.

The Karnataka government, however, did not permit them to register the sale deed. The company had claimed that the properties they purchased are Linaloe plantations, and thus, are exempt from the provisions of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961

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