Verdict in 61-yr-old land case today

Verdict in 61-yr-old land case today

Shuttling between courts

The verdict in a case lodged in 1950, relating to the ownership of land acquired to be distributed among people whose village was submerged during the construction of a dam across Tungabhadra River, is set to be delivered on Friday in the district fast track court here.

The case had been heard at the High Court in Hyderabad and the Karnataka High Court. Following the latter’s direction, it was subsequently heard at the district court in Raichur.

A number of villages in the taluk were submerged while implementing the Tungabhadra project in 1950. Rampur is one of them and 17 families residing there were allotted alternative land at Agalakera village.

The State government acquired 46 acres in survey nos. 121, 122 and 123 the same year and issued a notification in the State gazette.

The gazette states that the land was purchased from Kuberagowda and he got a compensation of Rs 6,969 at that time. The same year B F Patil, a farmer from Agalakera, filed a case in the court that the land in question belonged to him and that he would not allow its acquisition at any cost.

The case was heard in the High Court in Hyderabad as the region came under its jurisdiction at that time, says B S Patil, assistant public prosecutor, who is appearing on behalf of the government in the case at present.

After the reorganisation of states on linguistic basis, the case was transferred to the State. Since Koppal came under the undivided Raichur district at that point in time, the case was heard at the district court there.

The judgment was given in favour of the government and the 17 families. B F Patil questioned the judgment in the Karnataka High Court. The court rejected the petitioner’s argument and directed that the case be settled in the district court, says B S Patil.

The case was again heard at the Raichur district civil court since 1964 and in 1988, it gave a judgment in favour of B F Patil. After the formation of Koppal district in 1997, the case was transferred to the Koppal district court and to the district fast track court in recent years.

This is, perhaps, the oldest case regarding land acquired to rehabilitate those affected by a dam project. B F Patil has since died and his grandchildren are pursuing the case. Many of those affected by the project have also died. The number of affected families has risen from 17 to 65 and they are all respondents now. So, all eyes will be on the district fast track court on Friday when it pronounces the much-awaited verdict.