Lokayukta police's laxity irks Court

Lokayukta police's laxity irks Court

Court unhappy over slow pace of probe into conversion of land

The Special Lokayukta Court on Tuesday expressed unhappiness over the Lokayukta police not taking any action in the investigation relating to violation of rules by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). 

The police are investigating a complaint filed by ex-councillor Lakshminarayana stating that BDA allowed conversion for residential purposes of land meant for maintaining a nursery in Arakere near Bannerghatta Road. 

The landowner after conditional denotification of the land had entered into a joint agreement with SJR Builders for construction of an apartment complex.

After it was brought to the Court’s notice that SJR Builders, who have constructed the apartments, Luxuria, had sold 39 apartments after the investigation had commenced by the Lokayukta police, Judge N K Sudhindra Rao passed an order stating that no sale or transfer of the land would be allowed till further orders. 

Irate over the sale of the apartments when the investigation was underway, the judge sought to know why the investigating agency had not taken any action and why they had delayed the submission of the final report. 

“What is the investigating agency doing?” the Court questioned. The matter has been posted to July 23.

Earlier, after a letter from the Lokayukta police who inspected the apartments, BDA had issued notices to several occupants to vacate as they had moved in without any occupancy certificates. 

The BDA commissioner, in March 2012, had also kept the plan for the building complex in abeyance. 

The residents then approached the High Court, which granted them interim stay for four weeks. 

The High Court later issued an order directing the BDA commissioner to conduct a fresh inquiry as there was prima facie evidence that both the builders and BDA were guilty of violations.

 The residents have also been given eight weeks time to explain why BDA should not ask them to vacate their apartments.

Complaint

According to the complaint by Lakshminarayana, the BDA had notified several acres of land in Arakere near Bannerghatta Road for the formation of J P Nagar 9th phase layout in 1991. 

One of the landowners, M R Ramesh, had submitted an application to the BDA seeking denotification of his seven acres and 12 guntas of land, stating that a plant nursery was being maintained in that area. 

The BDA, in August 1996, conditionally denotified the land, stating that the land was not to be used for any purpose other than for a nursery. They also said that if the condition was violated, then the land would be taken back by the BDA for the formation of the layout. However, in 2007, Ramesh and his two sons sold the land to SJR Builders and an application was made for the conversion of land measuring 5.13 acres for residential purposes, with the Special Deputy Commissioner. 

The complainant alleges that the application for conversion was made by fabricating documents and showing that the builders and the landowners had a joint development agreement and was registered as such in the sub registrar’s office. 

Once the land was converted, the builders went ahead with the construction of an apartment complex on the plot. 

Further allegations

The complainant further alleges that the then BDA commissioner Siddaiah gave his approval for the plan, while the then BDA chairman Subir Hari Singh sanctioned the plan.

The then commissioner Bharat Lal Meena has been named in the complaint for not cancelling the sanctioned agreement, despite the violation of the agreement being brought to his notice repeatedly.

The complaint also names IAS officers Rame Gowda and MV Veerabhadraiah, KAS officer G S Naik, officials Yashodhara and Sosale Indudhar. 

Others named in the complaint are J Bhupesh Reddy and J Vijay Reddy of SJR Builders, landowner M Ramesh and his sons Satish and Ravi.

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