SC stays state govt order cancelling land grant to freedom fighter's son

In 2013, BJP govt gave 4 acres at Srigandhakaval in B'luru

The Apex Court has stayed the Karnataka government's decision to cancel grant of four acres of land in Bengaluru to son of "self-acclaimed" freedom fighter and initiate Lokayukta probe against him.

 A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak issued notice to the state on a special leave petition filed by S Sundaresh, son of S Suryanarayana Rao, challenging a High Court of Karnataka judgement of October 27, 2017. The high court's division bench had declined to interfere with the state government's orders issued on April 1, 2017 asking him to show cause why the grant of land at Yeshwantpur hobli in Bengaluru North taluk in his favour on April 22, 2013 may not be cancelled. The state government also ordered the Lokayukta to conduct a detailed enquiry in respect of grant of four acres to him. The land was alloted by the BJP government led by Jagadish Shettar.

 After admitting the petition by Sundaresh for further consideration, the top court, however, said, "There will be a stay of further proceedings before the high court including proceedings before the Lokayukta."

A single bench of the HC too had earlier on October 13, 2017 rejected a plea for staying the Lokayukta enquiry and the show cause notice stating that the government intended to cancel the grant of land under Rules 25 of the Karnataka Land Grants Rules. The state had claimed the petitioner had himself identified the land and even paid Rs 6 crore for it.  The HC had found that claims made by Sundaresh, son of Rao, a "self-acclaimed" freedom fighter was "highly belated and doubtful" and the manner in which the petitioner carried out the long litigation of about 40 years was required to be investigated. "The state's largesse or precious lands can neither be allowed to be frittered away in the garb of respect to freedom fighters nor can it be allowed to be surreptitiously be parted in favour of private parties for extraneous consideration," the HC had said.

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