The Karnataka High Court has asked the Advocate-General to get a response from Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on what he intends to do with regard to a direction issued to the Deputy Commissioner of Chikmagalur district, by the then Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, “not to take precipitative action” against those who had encroached upon forestland.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice S.N. Satyanarayana issued oral direction to Advocate-General Ravivarma Kumar on Tuesday during the hearing on two public interest litigation petitions filed by Samaj Parivartana Samudaya (SPS) and Namma Bengaluru Foundation. The petitioners have complained of inaction by the authorities in recovering 11 lakh acres of encroached government land.

The Bench issued the direction to the Advocate-General when it was pointed out by advocate K.V. Dhananjay, SPS counsel, that Mr. Yeddyurappa, acting on representations of some encroachers of forestland from Chikmagalur, ordered the Deputy Commissioner on August 4, 2010 “not to take precipitative action” till the government takes a final decision on the request of the encroachers to regularise the land in their favour.

Mr. Dhananjay pointed out that Mr. Yeddyurappa’s direction, which was still in force, was coming in the way of taking action against individuals, particularly those who had encroached upon forestland of over 100 acres each in the district..

The Advocate-General told the Bench that he would have to take personal instruction from Mr. Siddaramaiah in this regard and sought time from the court. Further hearing on the petition was adjourned till January 3, 2014.

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