'Consider appeal filed by MUDA'

'Consider appeal filed by MUDA'

The Supreme Court has asked the Karnataka High Court to consider afresh and decide the appeal filed by Mysuru Urban Development Authority against quashing of the decision to acquire a large portion of land for development of a layout.

A bench of Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre and S Abdul Nazeer agreed to the contention by MUDA advanced by senior advocate Dushyant Dave that its plea was dismissed by a division bench under the wrong impression that it has shelved the plan for the development of the layout, Dattagalli extension, and decided to withdraw from the acquisition proceedings.

The top court went through the resolution of July 02, 2016, government letter of June 26, 2018, and the Commissioner’s letter of November 14, 2017, and provisions of the Karnataka Urban Development Authorities Act, 1987 to conclude the appeals filed by the MUDA could not have been dismissed “as not pressed”.

Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Gopal Subramanium, representing landowners, defended the high court’s division bench order, saying the state government did not challenge the single judge’s order to quash the acquisition proceedings. They also submitted that MUDA had no independent locus to pursue the matter in appeals.

Remanding the matter back to the high court, the bench asserted an appellant has a right of appeal which can be forgone with express authority and free will.

“A right of appeal is a valuable right of a litigant. He is entitled to pursue this right as it enables him to seek adjudication of the issues on merits,” the bench said.

The court further said the forgoing of the right to pursue an appeal on merit in case of juristic entity has to be done under strict compliance of the law. “If, for some reasons, there are two rival groups in a juristic entity, one prays for withdrawal and the other insisting for hearing the appeal then it is the duty of the court to first resolve this issue in the light of the relevant provisions of law and then proceed to decide the appeal accordingly,” the court said.