Sunday, December 06, 2009

Notified, denotified and now, withdrawn

Notified, denotified and now, withdrawn
Sandeep Moudgal, Bangalore:

Defying a Supreme Court verdict, the State government on October 14, 2009 issued an order denotifying land to be developed by the BDA for the 'Koramangala Layout'. But the order was withdrawn on November 13, 2009.

The State Urban Development Department (UDD) officials maintained that the denotification order was cancelled as per the directions of the chief minister.
Earlier notification “UDD/141/MNJ/2006” dated October 14, 2009 denotifying the land was reportedly pushed by former Chief Secretary V P Baligar. The disputed land was meant for the formation of Koramangala Layout in Jakkasandra village.

The Supreme Court had ruled in favour of the BDA, on October 3, 2005, after a long drawn battle spanning 15 years. According to the ruling, the BDA is responsible for the development of six acres and 14 guntas of land.

It is the second time the State government has interfered in this case asking the BDA to return the land to its owner, R Hanumaiah. The Supreme Court in its judgment had noted that on July 5, 2005, a letter was sent by the then chief minister of Karnataka to UDD asking the Authority to re-convey the land to the respondent.

Legal battle

In 1965, R Hanumaiah had agreed to sell the land to CITB, predecessor of BDA. Following this, a portion of land measuring six acres and 14 guntas was notified by CITB to develop ‘Kormanagala Layout.’ The land as per current value was around Rs 300 crore.

Appeal filed

But Hanumaiah filed an appeal in the Civil Court seeking more compensation. But, CITB passed a resolution asking the land owner to withdraw the case and to redeposit the compensation amount of Rs 39,151 within 30 days. As it was not feasible to withdraw funds deposited in the court and repay, Hanumaiah withdrew his reference applications filed in the courts.

Later, a single judge in the High Court held that the land acquired for development scheme could not be returned and re-conveyed to the owner and that it must be applied for the purpose for which it was acquired, and thereby the sites formed therein should be distributed according to allotment rules. After the judgment, the BDA formed sites in ‘Koramangala Layout’ and distributed them in 1985-86.

On January 31, 2001, Hanumaiah approached the Supreme Court and it referred the case back to a Division Bench of Karnataka High Court. The division bench set aside single judge order. The BDA challenged the judgment. On October 3, 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Authority.

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