In blatant violation of a recent Supreme Court order, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) allotted four huge sites to Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, former MP Basavaraj Patil Sedam and two others.
Each measuring 50x80 ft and worth about Rs 10 crore, the sites are located in upscale RMV 2nd Stage (Bhoopasandra) developed by the BDA about four decades ago. The BDA has registered sale deeds in all four cases, highly placed sources said.
The sites were given in lieu of ‘G’ category sites originally allotted to them some three decades ago. ‘G’ category sites are allotted to persons in public life. The BDA claimed the original sites had some “issues”, which made the allottees eligible for alternative sites. But it didn’t explain why the alternative sites were given after so many years.
The four sites were among nine created by BDA from land reclaimed from encroachers last September. The BDA approved the allotment through an internal note dated Dec 28, 2021. The allotment violated two rules laid down in an order by the apex court just two months earlier, on Oct 26, 2021.
What the SC said
Sites formed from recovered lands can be sold only through a public auction. And alternative sites allotted under the BDA (Allotment of Sites) Rules, 1984, can be allotted only in new layouts.
Para 7 of the order reads: “...there is no bar for the BDA to form the sites in the recovered land subject to the land use indicated in the approved layout plan and dispose of them by public auction.
Needless to say, the sites formed in these lands, both intermediary and corner sites or any other intermediary sites in the developed layouts, have to be disposed of only by public auction. Bangalore Development Authority (Allotment of Sites) Rules, 1984, are not applicable to the sites formed in the recovered properties or the intermediary sites in the developed layouts. These rules are applicable only to the new layouts formed by the BDA.”
Three of the four allottees were originally given sites in RMV 2nd Stage while Jnanendra’s previous site was in HSR Layout, formed in 1985.
The site allotment file passed at least six tables from the assistant engineer to the BDA commissioner in just a week. Defending the allotment, BDA commissioner M B Rajesh Gowda said the agency had followed Rule 11A of the BDA (Allotment of Sites) Rules, 1984.
“The rule is applicable to land losers who have not been given alternative sites, and to those who have not questioned the acquisition of their properties (incentive sites) or civic amenity sites (B to G category),” he said.
He continued: “Of the four who have been allotted alternative sites now, three were originally given sites in RMV itself but those sites had issues. In the case of (Home Minister) Araga Jnanendra, he was given a site in HSR Layout but since it had issues, we have given him a site near Hebbal. There was no loss to the BDA because a site in HSR Layout costs Rs 25,000 (per sq ft) while in RMV it is only around Rs 12,000,” Gowda said. A person in the know, however, said sites in the BDA-developed RMV 2nd Stage cost about the same as those in HSR Layout.
Asked about the apex court order, which states that the BDA’s 1984 rules apply only to new layouts, the BDA commissioner said the agency would file an IA (interlocutory application).
“The BDA Act allows the allotment of alternative sites whenever there are genuine requests. We will inform the court about the statutory powers at the next hearing,” he said. The next hearing is scheduled for 2 pm, Thursday.
Didn’t know about SC order, says Jnanendra
When contacted for a response, Jnanendra said: “I was not kept in the loop with regard to the Supreme Court order. I will check with the BDA.”
Basavaraj Sedam, former state BJP president and another beneficiary, said: “It was a mutual transfer of sites and was discussed three to four years ago. But I have not seen the new site. As far as I know, 99% of the legal procedures were followed. I am not aware of the Supreme Court order. I donated the site to educational trusts by way of a GPA and it may have been sold. In its place, another land was bought in Jayanagar for the trust.”
The two other sites were allotted to Dr Nagaraj and Rama Reddy, according to the BDA commissioner.
Recovery to allotment in 3 months
*The BDA reclaimed encroached land in RMV 2nd Stage on September 23, 2021
*On October 26, 2021, the Supreme Court said sites from developed layouts or recovered properties should be disposed of only by public auction
*On December 28, 2021, the BDA auctioned three sites and allotted four more as alternative sites. It is in the process of allotting the remaining two sites