HC seeks status report on recovery of govt land

 The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday asked the state government to submit a status report in connection with the recovery of government land which has been encroached upon.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice P S Dinesh Kumar, asked the government counsel on the number of cases that have been filed against the encroachers and how many complaints have been registered.  The bench also questioned about how many cases are being heard before the Land Grabbing Prohibition Special Court.

During the hearing, amicus curiae Sajan Poovayya informed the court that the staffers working in the Land Grabbing Prohibition Special Court have not been paid salary and not given basic facilities in the court. He said that the government has constituted the court only due to the pressure from the public.

The bench immediately directed the government counsel to ensure facilities and salary are given to the special court for smooth functioning.

Plaint against Siddharth

Samaja Parivarthana Samudaya has filed an application along with a batch of PILs on government land encroachment against V G Siddharth Hegde - founder of Cafe Coffee Day and son-in-law of former chief minister S M Krisha.

The interlocutory application seeks criminal prosecution against Siddartha Hegde under the provisions of Karnataka Forest Act.  It is charged that he has encroached upon 64.39 acres of forest land in survey numbers 38 and 52 of Devagodu Village in Koppa taluk, Chikkamagaluru district.

The application says that despite forest department issuing directions to take action against the encroachers, Siddharth Hegde, along with his partner Shaban Ramzaan in a private firm, continues to encroach upon 81 acres of notified forest land in survey number 33 of Halasur Village, Balehonnur Hobli, Narasimharajapura taluk, Chikkamagaluru district.

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