HC slaps fine on illegal occupant

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday penalised a petitioner who had sought regularisation of his illegal occupation of a public property.

Mohammed Hamid Khan, a resident of Phoodshah Mohalla in Kolar, had approached the High Court stating that he was occupying a space measuring 1,500 sq feet in Phoodshah Mohalla for the past 15 years and that his representations to the city municipality seeking grant of the land went in vain. He had sought directions to the municipality to grant the land, and initiate action against officials concerned.

Justice Ram Mohan Reddy, while hearing the petition, questioned the petitioner whether he had any documents or records pertaining to the land or whether he paid any money as rent or lease amount. The counsel for the petitioner replied that no such sum had been paid to the to the municipality.

Justice Reddy observed that the petitioner was staying on the government land from past 15 years and even if he was bound to pay Re one per day, the petitioner would be in arrears of Rs 2.8 lakh.

The judge asked the petitioner to pay the said sum so that he could issue directions to grant the land.

“First of all, you are staying there illegally for the past 15 years and upon that you filed a petition seeking action against officials,” Justice Reddy said.

The court slapped a fine of Rs 1,000 on the petitioner, directed the Kolar municipality officials to impose penalty on the petitioner and evict him from the government land.

Notice ordered

The High Court has ordered issue of notice to Union Corporate Affairs Ministry in a petition filed by Forest Minister C P Yogeeshwara seeking quashing of charge sheets filed against him. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office has chargesheeted the minister for 24 different offences such as corporate fraud, criminal conspiracy, forgery and cheating related to Megacity (Bangalore) Developers and Builders Limited.

The charges against Yogeeshwara are siphoning off about Rs 37 crore from the company and cheating thousands of people who had paid money for sites in the company’s Vajragiri Township project; forging of about 450 sale agreements to show that about Rs 37 crore was paid to landowners to buy land and using this money for personal purposes, among others. Justice Nagamohan Das ordered notice and directed objections, while adjourning the matter.

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