SC bins society's plea against recall of site allotment in city

SC bins society's plea against recall of site allotment in city
The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition by ‘Ex-Servicemen and Economically Weaker Section Society’ against cancellation of residential plots allotted to it in Bengaluru in 1972-73.

A bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and U U Lalit concurred with Karnataka’s Additional Advocate General Devadutt Kamat that the site in question was gomal (pasture) land, which was later notified as reserve forest.

“Is it not statutorily prohibited to allot gomal land to a residential society? Normally gochar, gomal and pasture land can’t be alienated,” the bench told senior advocate Krishnan Venugopal, representing the society, who contended that the allotment, meant to build houses for the poor and ex-servicemen, was cancelled wrongfully.

“Was any process fees paid by you for transfer of land? Was any payment made to the Revenue Department? If it was for housing purpose, the government must have taken some consideration,” the bench asked the counsel.

Rejecting the society’s contention, the bench told the counsel, “We are not satisfied that the land was allotted to you.” It also said a tahsildar, under the law, cannot allot land as the officer was not a competent authority for the purpose.

The society claimed that the government allowed its request made in 1972-73 and decided to allot sites in Kothanur village of KR Puram hobli. The Block Development Officer, Bengaluru South taluk, proposed formation of a layout consisting of 762 sites. The government, however, turned it down, saying the society was formed only in 1999.

The court also noted that there was no document on record to show the society had approached the government in 1972-73, seeking allotment of sites for ex-servicemen and the poor. The government contended that the land was included in the proposed green belt on June 17, 1986, and it was transferred to the Forest Department.

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