The State government has issued a notification to set up a special court for speedy disposal of land-grabbing cases and it would start functioning in a month, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said here on Monday.
Jayachandra disclosed this to reporters after persuading freedom fighter H S Doreswamy and former JD(S) MLA A T Ramaswamy, who staged a protest outside his office demanding the constitution of the special court.
Doreswamy said that although the Karnataka Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, 2011, came into force last March, the government has been dragging its feet over setting up the special court to try cases under this law.
According to Jayachandra, the court will be headquartered in Bengaluru and will have jurisdiction over entire Karnataka. The court will also settle matters pertaining to forest land. Depending upon the inflow of cases, divisional benches will be set up in the districts, he added.
The court will consist of a chairman and four members (judicial and revenue) for providing speedy enquiry into any alleged act of land-grabbing, and trial of cases with respect to ownership and title, or lawful possession of the land grabbed.
While a High Court judge will be appointed the chairman, former or acting district judges will act as the two judicial members. Persons who hold or have held a post not below the rank of a deputy commissioner of the district will be appointed revenue members.
The Revenue Department will appoint the chairman and members, who will hold office for a term of three years from the date of appointment, or until the special court is reconstituted. The department will provide all facilities and infra- structure for setting up the court in a suitable building and ensure its operationalisation.
Besides, it will fix salaries and allowances of the chairman and members in consultation with the Finance Department. It has also been entrusted with appointing officers and other staff to help the special court discharge its duties.