Akrama-Sakrama gets High Court clearance

Govt can regularise buildings with bylaw violations

Akrama-Sakrama gets High Court clearance

 The High Court on Tuesday dismissed petitions challenging the state government’s controversial Akrama-Sakrama scheme.

With this, the government can go ahead and regularise domestic and commercial buildings violating municipal bylaws.

The BBMP had reported to the court at least 1.54 lakh such properties in its limits, built before October 19, 2013.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice R B Budihal upheld the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Regularisation of Unauthorised Development or Constructions) Rules of 2013.

Rejecting public-interest petitions filed by Citizen Action Forum and others, the court said the rules framed by the government clearly bar regularisation of construction on storm water drains, tank beds, river courses, canals, and areas below high tension electrical lines.

Constructions on parks, playgrounds, spaces meant for civic amenities, and coastal regulation zones, are similarly not eligible for regularisation.

The amendments lay down clear criteria for regularisation and are not discriminatory, the bench observed.

Every state faces urban growth calling for regulatory statutes, the court said.
Much before the present amendments were effected, the state had enacted the Karnataka Regularisation of Unauthorised Constructions in Urban Areas Act of 1991, the court stated. If all buildings constructed in violation of the bylaws were to be demolished, lakhs of people will be rendered homeless. The numbers are not in hundreds or thousands but in lakhs, the bench observed.

The high court also upheld the regularisation fees proposed by the government. Demolition is not the only way of getting things done. The state is not compromising on health and safety when it comes to unauthorised buildings. “The proposed amendments are made based on the needs of the people,” the court said.

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