‘Recall permits given for non-residential use after January 25, 2012’
In an order impacting a large number of plans sanctioned or permissions granted for construction of commercial buildings by allowing residential sites to be used for non-residential purposes, the Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to recall building plans sanctioned, trade licences and change of land use permitted after January 25, 2012.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna passed the interim order after noticing that the BBMP had sanctioned commercial buildings in residential areas despite its January 25 order restraining the authorities from issuing such permission. “Although we find that there is no ambiguity in the order dated January 25, 2012, we think it expedient to make a further clarification,” the Bench said while directing the BBMP not to permit or grant any change of land use in several areas.
The areas are Malleswaram, Richmond Town, Vasanthnagar, Jayanagar, Vijayanagar, V.V. Puram, Rajajinagar and R.T. Nagar.
The court also clarified that in addition to these areas, the residential areas mentioned and shown in the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) 1995 — regardless of whether they are subsequently depicted as “residential main” or “residential mixed” — are also included. The court made it clear its order also applies to other residential areas regardless of nomenclature used in the Revised Master Plan (RMP) 2015.
The court gave these directions while clarifying its interim order while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by the Citizens’ Action Forum (CAF) in 2008 challenging the RMP 2015 and complaining about commercial activities in areas classified as residential in CDP 95.
“Your officials are taking money and doing this (sanctioning plan in violation of court order) and there are lobbies that push you to that… Residents have no lobby and we are speaking for them,” the Bench observed orally, pulling up the BBMP for sanctioning plans by interpreting the January 25 order in the manner that suited the civic authority.
Further hearing on the petition has been adjourned to February 6, 2013.