Government counsel makes submission before High Court

The State Government on Monday submitted in the Karnataka High Court that it has decided to cancel allotment of 123.3 acres, belonging to the Central Relief Centre (commonly known as Beggars' Colony), to the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). Government counsel made the submission during hearing of a batch of public interest litigation petitions filed by Health Foundations, Rashtrothan Sankalp and others challenging a 2010 Government Order of allotting the land to the BDA.

“The Government has resolved to cancel the allotment of 123.3 acres of land to the BDA and a formal order would be issued after placing the matter before the Cabinet,” counsel informed the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna.

Consequently, the Bench granted the State Government a month to pass the order while requesting it to take a similar decision on other parcel of land, also belonging to Beggars' Colony, allotted to the BDA and other agencies.

The State Government, when B.S. Yeddyurappa was Chief Minister, allotted 123.3 acres to the BDA to construct a convention hall, a hospital and a park. The petitioners pointed out to the court that the Central Relief Centre was set up on 308 acres on Magadi Road, given by Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, then Maharaja of Mysore, in 1944, exclusively for the purpose of rehabilitation of beggars. But over the years the Government had diverted the land for different purposes. At present, only 20 per cent of the land is in the possession of the relief centre.

Directive to CID

Justice B.S. Patil on Monday directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) not to arrest or harass five Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike officials in connection with the multi-crore bogus bills scam.

The interim order passed following petitions filed by B.G. Prakash Kumar, Executive Engineer, Malleswaram; Keera Naik, Executive Engineer, Rajarajeshwarinagar; S. Mallikarjuna Gowda and Ranganath, both Assistant Executive Engineers; and M. Prabhu, Assistant Engineer. The officials contended that the CID sleuths were harassing them, though they were not named in the First Information Report.