Siddaramaiah rebuts BJP's denotification charge

Siddaramaiah rebuts BJP's denotification charge
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah laid out documents on Wednesday and rebutted Opposition BJP’s allegation that he had ordered de-notification of six acres of land in Bengaluru’s Bhoopasandra village.

“The allegation against me is baseless, frivolous and politically-motivated,” Siddaramaiah told a press conference at his Home Office Krishna. “There are no documents or any piece of paper to show that I passed an order denotifying survey numbers 20 and 21 measuring 3.34 acres and 2.32 acres in the Bhoopasandra village,” he said.

There is a set procedure for land to be denotified, Siddaramaiah said. “Under Section 48(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, a committee headed by an Additional Chief Secretary has to take a decision on de-notification. In the Bhoopasandra case, no such request was made either from the BDA or the Urban Development Department.”

According to Siddaramaiah, preliminary notification was issued for 131.33 acres of land in 1978 and final notification was issued for 108.17 acres in 1983. However, only 69.22 acres was actually taken possession of in 1987. “The layout was formed only on 13.34 acres with 234 sites, of which 132 sites were allotted,” he said.

“It was in August 1992 that the then government denotified land. Land allottees challenged this and moved High Court, which in 1996, quashed the de-notification. Land went back to the allottees,” Siddaramaiah said.

“In 2002,” he continued, “the original landowners filed a writ appeal. In 2004, a division bench of the High Court dismissed the petition and upheld the quashing of the de-notification. The court observed that the petitioners could approach the state government for relief without affecting the interest of the allottees.”

Another landowner Syed Bashid moved Supreme Court, which dismissed his petition in November 2015, Siddaramaiah pointed out. “Again, in February 2016, some landowners moved High Court, challenging the final notification. Here, the court observed that under Section 24 of the BDA Act, the scheme had lapsed,” Siddaramaiah said. The BDA withdrew its appeal after the Law Department opined that it was “not a fit case for appeal.”

The CM confirmed that he received two letters from MLA Vasanth Bangera, seeking regularisation of four revenue sites. “While this was not connected with the case in question here, I wrote in my remarks on the letters that it be examined and discussed. The words ‘examine’ and ‘discuss’ are commonly used for requests that any minister receive. Does this become an order?”

In all this, Siddaramaiah said he has no role to play whatsoever. “I didn’t even receive the file. Where’s the question of de-notification,” he asked. “BJP’s BJ Puttaswamy who has made this allegation against me has also suppressed the fact that the government had brought the Bhoopasandra case to the court’s notice.”

Siddaramaiah said he was consulting advocates on taking legal action against BJP for having made such allegations. He did not say, however, if he would take action in his capacity as the CM or as an individual.

“I was also Leader of Opposition for four years, but I’ve not seen such silly behaviour,” he said, referring to the BJP. “There’s a limit for lying.”

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