HC lashes out at BDA over granting marginal lands

The High Court on Friday lashed out at the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) in the case pertaining to granting of marginal lands to owners of adjoining sites.

 Ramalingaiah, a retired executive engineer, had approached the High Court, saying BDA had to allot him marginal lands adjoining his property in RPC Layout.

Marginal lands are lands of small uneven dimensions, which are usually sold to the owners of the adjoining property as they have no other use and are also a source of additional revenue for the Authority.

In this case, the BDA contended that the marginal lands adjoining Ramalingaiah’s site was already sold to him for a specified price and none remained.

Justice outraged

Justice Ram Mohan Reddy, who has been hearing the matter, had sought the complete records of marginal lands sold by the BDA. On Friday, when BDA submitted a list of 467 such transactions, the judge was enraged about the small number of such allotments.

Expressing dissatisfaction about the incomplete records, the judge said, “This is to showcause to the commissioner to explain why the records from the Authority should not be seized by the Lokayukta or Central Bureau for Investigation.

The Authority is deliberately suppressing material facts,” he fumed. The commissioner of BDA has been directed to file an affidavit on Monday explaining how only 467 pieces of marginal lands have been sold by the BDA so far.

The judge also expressed concern over BDA allotting more than one site in the adjoining areas to a person and calling them marginal lands.

The idea of selling these marginal lands to those who hold the adjoining piece of property emerged when BDA realised that such plots of uneven dimensions were inevitably encroached upon.

Selling them for a price ensured steady income for the BDA, while preventing encroachment.

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