The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday directed Phaniraj Kashyap, son of a sitting judge of the High Court, to deposit Rs. 1.24 crore, which he had received as compensation from the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB), in a nationalised bank and surrender the original deposit certificate to the Registrar-General until further orders.

The Court also restrained G.C. Prakash, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Bangalore urban district, from dealing with the dispute over the lands purchased by Mr. Phaniraj while ordering issue of emergent notice to him. The court also directed the KIADB not to disburse any compensation until further orders to Mr. Phaniraj, a practicing advocate and son of Justice K. Sreedhar Rao.

Justice A.N. Venugopala Gowda passed the interim orders on a petition, in which it has been alleged that Mr. Prakash had “altered” an order due to influence brought on him by Mr. Phaniraj and altered the order which came handy for him [Mr. Phaniraj] to get compensation from the KIADB, which had acquired two acres land from him.

The petitioners had sought restoration of six acres of land, including two acres purchased by Mr. Phaniraj, stating that lands could not have been sold as the grantee belonged to Scheduled Caste. As the Assistant Commissioner had rejected their claim for restoration, they had appealed to the Mr. Prakash, who though initially stayed the order passed by the AC, had later allegedly “altered” the order in the absence of their counsel.

Though the government counsel, Vasudev Murthy, submitted that he was instructed to submit that “the DC had issued stay order and later altered the order in the presence of counsel for the petitioners,” Justice Gowda ordered that there is a prima facie reason for deeper consideration of issues raised in the petition as the DC “could not have scored off or scratched his order.”

The Court also noticed that it was on account of “scratching or scoring off” the order by the DC that Mr. Phaniraj made claims before the KIADB, which instantly issued cheque to him.

Justice Gowda also directed the counsel for the State and the KIADB to handover the files connected to Mr. Phaniraj’s property immediately to the court’s registry and the same were kept in sealed covers.

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