The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Karnataka government to implement the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project in terms of its 2006 judgment before any other issue was taken up for consideration.
A Bench of Justices V. S. Sirpurkar, R.M. Lodha and T.S. Thakur, passing orders on the contempt application filed by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE), also made it clear that project implementation should be within the original Framework Agreement (FA) entered into between the government and NICE.
Senior counsel Dushyant Dave, appearing for NICE, said the government was not implementing the court judgment and it was yet to hand over 776 acres for ‘Section A' of the project. For about five years, the company had been unable to implement the project as the required land was not being handed over. He alleged that the former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader, Deve Gowda, somehow wanted to scuttle the project.
Advocate-General Ashok Harnahalli said the 776 acres was not part of the FA. He said the government was committed to implementing the project, and attributed the delay to about 80 writ petitions on land acquisition pending in the Karnataka High Court.
Counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner U.R. Ananthamurthy, said a fraud had been committed to pass orders for implementing the Outline Development Plan dated February, 12, 2004. This was not the order passed by this court in 2006. Under the FA, it was made clear that no land should be used for commercial development, but this was what the government was doing.
After hearing counsel for the parties, the Bench asked the Advocate-General to file an application on behalf of the State before the Chief Justice of the High Court with a request that all writ petitions be consolidated so that they could be heard together.
After the application was made, the Chief Justice of the High Court should place all the writ petitions before a Division Bench, which should dispose of them in four months.
The Bench said land acquisition was the result of an FA dated April 3, 1997 between NICE and the government. In order to show its bona fides, Mr. Dave had made a statement that NICE would not want any change in the FA in that it would not claim more land or anything different from what was contained in the agreement.
The Bench said the Advocate-General also submitted that the FA would be fully implemented in letter and in spirit.
It directed that the contempt petition be listed for further hearing in the first week of May, after the High Court disposed of the writ petitions.
Keywords: Bangalore-Mysore corridor project