Nithyananda sole owner of 21 acres land in Bidadi

Nithyananda sole owner of 21 acres land in Bidadi

May have risked violating agriculture land ownership rules

Nithyananda sole owner of 21 acres land in Bidadi

He is also a landlord, owning over 21 acres of prime land over which he has established his ashram - Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam.

According to a status report prepared and sent to the State Revenue Department by Ramanagara Deputy Commissioner G L Chandrashekharaiah, Nithyananda is the sole owner of the land in Kallugopahalli in Bidadi taluk of the district.

"A detailed status report was sent to the government three days back. It has been found that Nithyananda is the sole owner of the land and it is not the property of a trust or a society," Chandrashekharaiah told Deccan Herald, adding that the total area owned by Nithyananda stood at 21 acres and 10 guntas.

Documents available with Deccan Herald show that the land Nithyananda purchased was registered on October 15, 2003.

The sellers of the land have been identified as Ramalinga Gupta, N Mukund, Shanth Kumar Gupta, K R Shashidhar, N Pratap, S Vinayak, H A Vijayendra and Inder Hari Inder. While selling the property to Nithyananda, these persons identified themselves as farmers.

By implication, therefore, once the registration was done in Nithyananda's name, he became the owner of agricultural land.

In this context, a senior civil advocate said that by possessing over 21 acres of farm land Nithyananda had violated Sections 79(A)(B) and 83 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961. Section 79(B) holds that "no person other than a person cultivating land personally shall be entitled to hold land and it shall not be unlawful for an educational, religious or charitable institution or society or trust…a company, an association or other body of individuals not being a joint family, whether incorporated or not or a cooperative society other than a cooperative farm, to hold any land".

The law also states that Nithyananda may have violated Section 80 of the KLR Act, according to which no transfer or sale of land to non-agriculturists is allowed.

Chandrashekharaiaha said he had sent a detailed status report to the Revenue Department which will now have to take a decision on whether Nithyananda faced forfeiture of the land.

However, Section 83 of the KLR Act says that any transaction found to be in contravention of the legislation would be considered "null and void".

Besides, the penalty for such violation will invite forfeiture and the land will be vested in the State Government.