Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sakrama may be delayed; Guv wants hurdles to go

Sakrama may be delayed; Guv wants hurdles to go
Bangalore, August 16, DH News Service:

The State Government will have to first clear all legal hurdles before it seeks Governor H R Bhardwaj’s nod to the controversial bill on the Sakrama scheme.

It is learnt that Bhardwaj has written to the government pointing out that he will consider giving assent to the bill only after Karnataka High Court vacates its stay on the bill.

The governor, who was the Union Law Minister in the first UPA government, has directed the government to clarify the High Court stay at the earliest for him to give assent to the bill.

The High Court stayed the bill on December 11, 2007, based on petitions filed by Jagadishnagara Residents’ Welfare Association and Kalyanagar’s Prakruti Layout Plot Owners’ Association.

The petitioners sought quashing of the amendments to the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (Regularisation of Unauthorised Developments and Constructions) Rules, 2007 and the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, through which the Sakrama scheme was proposed to be implemented.

The petitioners contended that regularisation of unauthorised construction was against the principle of rule of law and that it will set a bad precedent.

Argument

They also argued that they had constructed houses in places which were recently declared as the BBMP area, after taking requisite permission and sanctions from then existing CMCs and sanitary boards. The BBMP, therefore, cannot impose penalty in the name of regularising these constructions, they contended.

Though the BJP-ruled government modified certain provisions of the bill, especially the penalty clause, it did not bother to get the stay vacated. When the government urged Bhardwaj to promulgate an ordinance in this regard before the BBMP elections a few months ago, the governor turned down the request citing the High Court stay as one of the reasons.

Bhardwaj has refused to give assent as it may lead to contempt of court. “Besides, anybody can challenge it even after the governor gives assent and stop the government from implementating its provisions,” sources said.

Govt silent

Though the governor sought the clarification three weeks ago, the government has so far remained silent. Instead, Transport Minister R Ashok hoped that Bhardwaj will give assent soon and claimed that all his doubts had been clarified.

It is said the governor questioned Ashok’s authority to speak on the Sakrama scheme as his purview is only over the transport department.

This is not all. Sources said some ministers recently approached the Governor and complained that two influential ministers from Bangalore modified the rules according to their whims and fancies.

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