The Karnataka High Court on Thursday said that the State and its agencies must give an opportunity of personal hearing to a person before it acquires land under Section 5 (A) of the Karnataka Land Acquisition Act.

A Division Bench comprising Justice V.G. Sabhahit and Justice B. Manohar passed the order on an appeal by the State Government against a single judge order.

A single judge had allowed a petition by Chandramma who had questioned the acquisition of five acres of land in Ramanagaram by the KIADB for the construction of a hi-tech bus stand in Ramanagaram for the KSRTC.

The single judge had allowed her petition, saying that Section 5 (A) mandated a personal hearing which had not been given. He had said that the land could be acquired only after personal hearing was given.

The State had then filed an appeal against the single judge order.

The Bench dismissed the appeal and said the State or any other acquiring agency must give personal hearing under Section 5 (A) before acquiring the land.

Justice Ajit Gunjal adjourned a petition by Biocon, a Bangalore-based BT giant, that had challenged the decision of the Government to fix a price on the oral insulin drug it had come up with.

The company said the drug was not in the list of the products on the Drugs Price Control Order. The Centre could fix the price of only those drugs on the list. Since this oral drug is not listed, the Centre cannot fix the price.

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