HC stays order withdrawing eviction at dam catchment area

HC stays order withdrawing eviction at dam catchment area

Lashing out at the inaction of the State government, the High Court on Friday stayed the notification dated April 21, to withdraw the earlier notification dated November 18, 2003, to clear encroachment and classify agriculture and non-agriculture activities at Thippagondanahalli reservoir catchment area in Magadi taluk.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice R B Budhihal, however, permitted the State government to conduct a survey and eviction of encroachment in the area.

The petition was placed before the division bench after Justice L Narayanaswamy, who was hearing a petition by some of the farmers and land owners seeking relief from eviction order of the State government, stated that since the matter pertains to the environment, it should be heard by the High Court green bench.

When the matter came up for hearing before the bench headed by the Chief Justice, Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar submitted that following several representations by the farmers and other landowners that they are facing problems due to the notification, the government has withdrawn the notification. The Advocate General further submitted that the earlier notification was incomplete and the new notification will be issued after a suitable study. “The government is already in the process of drafting a better and accurate notification which could be enforced with clarity and minimum legal complications,” he said.

He further submitted that the Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute has been entrusted with the task of studying about the present developments, while the clearing of the encroachment in the region is on.

However the bench was not happy about it and said, “You say that the survey is not proper, then why did you withdraw the notification? You say that you have acted against the encroachers, but even today, 194 industries still exist here as per the report. Your eviction is just on paper. Your officials are behaving like puppets of the politicians. The BDA officials have shut their eyes. Nobody knows what is happening over there,” the bench said.

“Your withdrawal of notification shows that the officials have colluded with private persons. Why shouldn’t we set aside the notification withdrawing the earlier notification on grounds of vagueness and arbitrariness?,” the bench questioned the government.

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