Seeks details like time taken to form layouts in past 30 years, lands denotified
Observing that the manner in which the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is functioning begs the question whether it is necessary at all, the Karnataka High Court on Thursday asked the authority to give details of total land acquired for layouts formed during the past three decades and land denotified at various stages.
The court also sought details on the average time taken for these layouts — from the date of the land acquisition notification to the date of allotment of sites.
Abuse of power
The court observed: “We were distressed to note the way both the Bangalore Development Authority and the State government abused powers and have made a mockery of the acquisition proceedings.” If the lands were denotified, the grounds for denotification and why the same gesture was not extended to others also requires to be investigated.
A Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice Aravind Kumar issued the directions while dealing with an appeal, filed by Anthony Reddy and others, whose lands were acquired for HRBR Layout III Stage 34 years ago.
A single judge Bench had rejected in 2007 their plea that acquisition of their land had lapsed as the BDA had failed to form a layout within five years as per law.
The Division Bench noticed that the BDA had issued preliminary notification in 1978 to acquire 982 acres of land. In the final notification in 1989, it proposed to acquire less than 50 per cent of the preliminarily notified area, that is just 433.32 acres. Of this, the BDA passed awards for compensation for only 107 acres and took possession of just 97 acres. “These facts clearly demonstrate lack of due diligence on the part of the BDA in formulating development scheme and getting the scheme approved. If this is the way the authority — which has to provide sites to the needy people — is functioning, the question arises whether is it necessary to have such an authority, when its actions are neither in public interest nor the public is benefited in any manner,” the Bench observed.
It said the BDA’s inability to implement the scheme and allot sites even after 34 years reflects on its competence. “In turn, it affects the growth of Bangalore. Immediate remedial steps are required to be taken; otherwise the existence of such an authority requires reconsideration.”
As the BDA claimed that litigations delayed formation of layouts, the Bench observed: “If court orders are coming in the way, it is a matter of serious concern and this court should do something.” It asked the registrar to provided details of such cases pending in courts.