Allotment of land to BDA staff association illegal: HC

Allotment of 33-acre land to BDA staff association is illegal: Karnataka HC

The BDA and the staff association contended that the government did give prior approval to the land allotment

Credit: DH file photo

The bulk allotment of land by the BDA to its staff association 15 years ago without governmental approval is both "illegal and unconstitutional", the high court has ruled. 

In November 2006, the Bangalore Development Authority executed the sale deed for 33.02 acres of land in Doddakallasandra village, Uttarahalli hobli, in favour of the BDA Employees' Welfare Association. The association formed a housing colony on the land and allotted sites to its 759 members. 

A PIL petition, filed by one B V Sivaswamy, challenged the land allotment on the grounds that it was done without prior approval from the state government. 

While a division bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka declared the land allotment "illegal and unconstitutional", it declined to give any other relief to the petitioner stating that he hadn't impleaded the 759 allottees. 

The BDA and the staff association contended that the government did give prior approval to the land allotment on April 19, 2006. 

The bench, however, noted that as per the Bangalore Development Authority (Bulk Allotment) Rules, 1995, any bulk allotment exceeding five acres must not only have prior approval from the state government but that it shall also record the reasons in writing. 

"As no reasons in writing have been admittedly recorded by the government in its order dated 19th April, 2006, the bulk allotment of the land made by the BDA in favour of the 4th respondent is completely illegal, being manifestly arbitrary and the same will have to be held violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India,” the bench said. 

Quoting the Supreme Court judgement in the Akhil Bhartiya Upbhokta Congress case, the bench said land allotment must be done in a manner consistent with the doctrine of equality. The BDA should have invited similarly situated eligible people, institutions and organisations to participate in the process of allotment, either by way of auction or otherwise, it stated. 

The court rejected the petition only on the grounds of non-joinder of 759 allottees who may have created third party interests. (Non-joinder is the failure to join some person as a party to a suit, whether as plaintiff or as defendant, who should have been joined according to the law).