Will ensure smooth functioning of KAT, govt tells High Court

Bench wonders why BBMP has kept cases pending before civil court

The State government on Friday told the High Court that it will ensure smooth functioning of the Karnataka Appellate Tribunal (KAT) by appointing judicial and administrative members.

Hundreds of building bylaw violation applications of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are pending before KAT due to vacancies of members.

During the hearing of a PIL pertaining to illegal construction in the City, Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar submitted that the State government would make the appointments before December 31.

Amicus curiae Shashi Kiran Shetty submitted that several cases of BBMP were pending before KAT and more than 600 cases were pending before the special city civil court, which has no jurisdiction to hear the cases.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice R B Budhihal expressed its surprise over the cases of BBMP pending before the civil court, even though they were not maintainable as per law. 

The bench was further surprised when it was told that some matters were pending since 1998. “How can the cases pertaining to BBMP go to the civil court and be pending for a long time?” it asked.

The court has asked the registry to forward the order to the principal city civil judge to look into the issue.

Gottigere families

The High Court on Friday directed the petitioners, about fifty families of Gottigere village near Bannerghatta on the outskirts of City, challenging the eviction order of the State Forest department to approach the appropriate appellate authority seeking relief. 

The petitioners, basically from the economically weaker section, had moved the High Court challenging the notice of the Forest department dated October 20, asking them to vacate the place stating that the land belongs to the Forest department.

Counsel for petitioners M Errappa Reddy contended that the petitioners were overnight asked to vacate the land without any prior notice, while they were residing here since last 20 years.

 “The government in 2006 had declared this patch of land Mufat Kaval land (can be used for any purpose) and had recommended to the State to regularise them as per Section 94(c) Karnataka land revenue Act.

Justice Venugopala Gowda, who heard the matter, directed the petitioners to approach the appellate authority for relief.

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