How the legal knot was untangled

How the legal knot was untangled

The lake in the Tataguni Estate

The trouble started when Devika Rani, allegedly executed an agreement on July 30, 1991, and a supplemental agreement on September 21, 1991, to sell 223 acres of land in Tataguni Estates on the outskirts of Bangalore City to K T Plantations.

A suit was filed by K T Plantation in the court of City Civil Judge, Bangalore Rural, for declaration that the sale deed executed by Devika Rani Roerich in its favour, was valid and binding on her.

The company also sought  for mandatory injunction restraining her from creating any encumbrances on the property or from transferring it and for a further perpetual injunction restraining her from interfering with his alleged possession and enjoyment of that property.

Devika Rani on July 2, 1992, in her written statement, denied the execution of the sale deed and the agreements to sell in favour of the defedents and of the passing of consideration under them. She termed it bogus and vitiated by fraud and misrepresentation.

Even when the matter was pending, the KT Plantations lodged a complaint with Bangalore district registrar seeking a probe into the matter. “It was challenged in the Court by Devika Rani, but it was dismissed in the lower courts and the matter reached the Supreme Court. Though Devika Rani died before the litigation was decided, the case was continued by her secretary Mary Joyce Poonacha,” said V H Ron, the first counsel.

The Supreme Court Division Bench comprising Justice K Ramaswamy and N Venkatachala ruled in favour of the Roerichs. However, the litigation did not end here as the K T Plantation moved the Court after the State Government, which had granted the land by amending the Karnataka Land Reforms Act withdrew the grant by amending the Act, again in 2000s. When the High Court permitted the State to take over the land, the petitioner took the matter to the Apex Court which on  August 9  upheld the Government decision to acquire the land putting an end to the feud.

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