Arkavathy Layout redo: Karnataka HC forms committee

Arkavathy Layout redo: Karnataka HC forms committee

The BDA had left out 285 acres of land from acquisition in 2013 on the orders of the Supreme Court in 2010

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

The Karnataka High Court on Monday constituted a three-member committee to look into the redo exercise as well as denotification done after the Supreme Court order in the Arkavathy Layout case.

Justice Aravind Kumar passed this order while disposing of 446 petitions filed by land and building owners. The court upheld the second final notification issued in June 2014 for the acquisition of lands for the layout in 16 villages.

The committee, comprising retired high court judge Justice K N Keshavanarayana, retired IAS officer Sandeep Dave and retired IPS officer N S Megharikh, will verify whether the redo exercise and denotification complied with the orders of the Supreme Court and the high court.

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has been directed to act upon the report to be submitted by the committee.

The BDA had left out 285 acres of land from acquisition in 2013 on the orders of the Supreme Court in 2010. The apex court had ordered denotification after observing that acquisition had been done inclusive of horticulture land, developed residential areas, factories and educational institutions. Accordingly, BDA published a modified scheme in 2014.

The Arkavathy issue dates back to 2004 when the government issued a gazette notification declaring the acquisition of 2,750 acres. The BDA took possession of 1,919.13 acres, including 1,459.37 acres of private and 459.16 acres of government land.

After a single-judge bench of the Karnataka High Court quashed the entire acquisition, the BDA succeeded in salvaging the layout plan after a division bench upheld the acquisition with some conditions.

The Supreme Court upheld the verdict with additional conditions on land acquisition. Cautioning against ‘arbitrary deletions’, the apex court had directed BDA to consider whether, in view of deletions, the development of the balance of the acquired lands has become illogical and, if so, whether the balance area also should be deleted.

However, in the years since, subsequent governments and the BDA have faced allegations of ‘pick and choose’ deletions, leading to discrimination and irregularities.

Such accusations had forced the then chief minister Siddaramaiah to set up the Justice H S Kempanna commission, whose report is yet to be tabled in the House.

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