Special courts for speedy disposal of land-grabbing cases

Special courts for speedy  disposal of land-grabbing cases

The State government is committed to establishing special courts for speedy disposal of land-grabbing cases and would soon reply to clarifications sought by the Centre on the Karnataka Land Grabbing Prohibition Bill, 2011, which is pending before the President for his assent, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, Jayachandra said the Governor had sent the bill, which had been passed by both Houses of the Legislature, to the President for his assent. The Law ministry has now sought clarification from the State government on the availability of resources for setting up the special courts and the status of pendency of land-grabbing cases.

“The State government will reply to the clarifications sought by the Centre at the earliest. The issue will be discussed with the chief minister immediately and necessary steps taken. There is no dearth of funds to set up the special courts and we will forward our views to the Centre. The government is keen that the special courts are set up,” Jayachandra said.

The bill provides for disposal of all cases pertaining to grabbing of government land within six months. It also provides for criminal action against those involved, with three years’ jail.

Earlier in the day, members of Bhukabalike Virodhi Horata Samiti, including freedom fighter H S Doreswamy, former legislator A T Ramaswamy and environmentalist Yellappa Reddy, staged a protest in front of Jayachandra’s chambers at the Vidhana Soudha, demanding that the Government take immediate steps to implement the long-pending land-grabbing prohibition bill. While the Centre had sought clarifications in October 2012, the government was yet to reply, they pointed out.

They withdrew the protest after Jayachandra promised to hold a meeting with them to discuss the issue, along with Revenue Minister V Srinivasa Prasad.

Ramaswamy said the land mafia had started dictating State politics. If steps were not taken to punish encroachers, the poor will not get even an inch of land. Around 8,300 acres of government land worth Rs 25,000 crore had been grabbed in Bangalore Urban district alone. The government should recover the same and punish the culprits, he said.

He said specific instances of land-grabbing cases had been mentioned in the report of the joint legislature committee on encroachment of government land in Bangalore Urban district which he headed.DH News Service

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