Scheme may not pass muster given previous SC rulings

The State government may stop short of implementing the Akrama-Sakrama scheme given the waning confidence that it may not pass the test of the courts of law.

The scheme that has raised expectations among lakhs of urban property owners was gazetted by the Urban Development Department on May 28, and is likely to be placed before the High Court, which is hearing a petition filed earlier against the scheme that seeks to regularise unauthorised constructions in urban areas.

In Bangalore, thousands of property owners with violations in floor area ratio, building bylaws and land use, are hoping to benefit from the scheme by paying the prescribed penalty.

“Regularisation of violations is not easy and the government is taking a risk before the court by placing the new set of proposals,” a top government source told The Hindu.

“Since the Supreme Court is not in favour of regularising the violations, especially after the stance that it has taken in the recent Campa Cola case in Mumbai, we are not cent per cent confident of the stand that would be taken by the courts,” the source said. Those opposing the scheme could still approach the Supreme Court if the High Court favours the present Akrama–Sakrama scheme, dragging the case still further.

Admitting that “the case is difficult”, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra said: “We have to build a case in the High Court since the issue pertains to Bangalore as well. The government has to single out the issue and convince the court.”

When his attention was drawn to judgments of the apex court in previous cases, where the court stayed regularisation of unauthorised structures and violation of bylaws, Mr. Jayachandra said the government was aware of the situation.

“We will try our best,” he added.

A former senior official of the Law Department also pointed to several cases, including the Friends Colony Development Committee Society case and Esha Ekta Apartment Cooperative Housing Society case where the Supreme Court came down heavily on the violations and also on the failure of the administration in curbing these violations. “In such a scenario, we expect that the Akrama –Sakrama mooted by the government will also be struck down for being bad in law.”