Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sakrama: Protests gather storm

Sakrama: Protests gather storm
DH News Service, Bangalore:
Protests demanding withdrawal of Sakrama, the scheme for regularisation of unauthorised constructions and developments, are gaining momentum in Bangalore.

According to constitutional experts, the Governor is legally empowered to annul the rules under which Sakrama came into effect.

The Karnataka State Legislature amended Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act 1961 to provide an opportunity for owners of unauthorised properties to get their properties regularised, at its special session in Belgaum in September 2006.

The draft of the amended rules was published in the State gazette on May 17, 2007. A 30-day time was given for filling objections. Finally, the rules came into effect from September 15.

Congress MLAs from Bangalore City had at a press meet set November 30 as deadline for the withdrawal of the scheme.

The Left parties on Tuesday staged a massive protest in front of the Palike demanding the scrapping of the scheme.

Palike stand

BBMP officials argue that political parties should have raised their voice against the scheme when the relevant legislation was tabled in the Assembly. “There is no point in opposing the scheme now. When the draft was notified in the gazette there was a 30-day time to file objections. There is no way out than filing the applications before December 14,” a senior BBMP officer said.

A former advocate-general of Karnataka opined that as the framing of the Rules the under which Sakrama was brought into effect was an executive act of the State government, the Governor who now sits in its place can annul it, if he deemed it necessary.

The Governor acting under President’s rule is not supposed to take any decisions of policy nature unless necessitated by extra-ordinary circumstances.

Former law minister D B Chandre Gowda said though the Governor cannot withdraw the scheme he can defer its implementation until a popular government assumes power.

MLA Jayaprakash Hegde said when the State is under the President’s rule the Governor cannot withdraw a decision or a scheme being implemented on the basis of a law passed by the previous government. But he can extend the last date for submitting applications.


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