The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday quashed allotment of civic amenities sites to GAIL (India) Ltd, Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd, and SyndicateBank at Manyatha Nagar residential layout at Rachenahalli by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).
Justice Anand Byrareddy passed the order while allowing the petitions filed by Manyata Residents’ Association, through which those who own sites in the layout had contended that allotment of civic amenities (CA) sites in favour these companies were made in violation of the BDA Act and Rules.
The court also quashed the lease deed as well as the possession certificate granted to the companies.
While pointing out that one of the principles that guide allotment of CA sites is “the benefit likely to accrue to the general public of the locality by allotment a CA site and need of a CA site by the institution to provide the particular civic amenity”, the High Court said that building corporate offices of these firms in the layout in no way benefits the residents of the locality.
“Corporate offices of the bank and the business house would not even remotely meet the need of the local residents and cannot be characterised as an amenity or a civic amenity,” the court observed stating that though bank’s branch and ATM incidentally serve as amenities.
The court ruled that the allotment was violation of the BDA Act and the Rules governing allotment of CA sites.
The BDA in October 2010 allotted a site to GAIL Ltd for its office building and regional gas management centre, to SyndicateBank for constructing their corporate office, a branch and an ATM and to BCC Ltd for constructing a 10-floor corporate office.
Meanwhile, these companies had contended before the court that the developer of the layout, Manyata Promoters Pvt Ltd, was apparently “trying to fire from the shoulder of the residents’ association” and there was no illegality in allotment of CA sites for them.
However, the court did not accept this contention of the companies and pointed out that when the developer had already relinquished the CA sites, parks and open spaces in favour of the BDA as per the law, it cannot be said that the petitioner-association was set up by the developer.
On the claim of the companies that they had invested several crores of rupees for the CA sites and two commenced construction, the court said that it is for the companies to work out their remedy in damages against the State and the BDA in respect of any such setback suffered by them.