Land holding: HC bins plea against Veerendra Heggade

Land holding: HC bins plea against Veerendra Heggade

The Karnataka High Court has quashed criminal proceedings against Veerendra Heggade, Dharmadhikari of Manjunatheshwara temple in Dharmasthala, in a case before the principal civil judge and JMFC court, Belthangady.

While allowing the writ petition filed by Heggade, Justice John Michael Cunha observed that the allegations in the complaint were purely civil in nature and they cannot be inquired into by the police.

Ranjan Rao Yerdoor of Guruvayanakere, Belthangady taluk had filed series of complaints against Heggade since 2012 before the assistant commissioner and deputy commissioner alleging that Heggade owns land in excess of the ceiling prescribed by the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1964.

However, both the assistant commissioner and deputy commissioner found the allegation untrue. The land tribunal passed an order on March 5, 2012, in favour of Heggade.

Ranjan Rao filed a private complaint before the JMFC court, Belthangady, against Heggade in 2016, seeking action against him for owning land in excess of the ceiling prescribed in the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1964. The magistrate referred the case for investigation.

Heggade had moved the high court challenging the said private complaint and had sought directions for quashing the proceedings.

While disposing of Heggade’s plea, Justice Cunha observed that the complaint shows the petitioner has neither made any false declaration nor has he mislead the revenue authorities.

Senior advocate PP Hegde appeared on behalf of Veerendra Heggade in the case.

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