Noticing that land granted by the government to various people are being “indirectly” sold before the expiry of the non-alienation period, the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday said it was high time the policy was reviewed.

The court suggested that the situation be reviewed in the Cabinet.

Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh issued the direction while hearing a petition complaining that ‘saguvali’ chit was not issued in a case despite an order from the committee for regularisation of unauthorised occupation in 1999.

However, the government countered the allegation saying that the petitioner, Radhamma of Chunchanakuppe village, Bangalore south taluk, was neither in possession of the property nor her name was shown in the record of rights, tenancy and crop, and hence action was initiated to cancel the grant.

The court said valuable government land had been misused by grantees through indirect transactions even before the expiry of the non-alienation period. It said the granted lands were being sold for astronomical values for unjust enrichment. This process resulted in the “grant” of land to unscrupulous persons and there by resulted in abuse of power to grant lands, the court observed.

“Thus it is for the government to take steps to safeguard its lands and to utilise it for public purpose in future instead of granting he lands to unscrupulous persons, who on such grant, will sell the lands as per prevailing market price and will not utilise the land,” Justice Ramesh said while asking the government counsel to inform the matter to the Chief Secretary to bring this aspect to the notice of the government so that it could review the policy at the Cabinet level.

The court adjourned further hearing till June 27.

Flawed scrutiny

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna on Wednesday asked an advocate to produce samples of “unnecessary and irrelevant” objections raised by the scrutiny branch of the court while finding flaws in the petitions as per rules.

In his petition, city-based advocate N.P. Amruthesh complained that “irrelevant” objections were raised being raised as the staff, who were scrutinising the petitions filed by advocates, had neither sufficient knowledge of law or qualification to undertake scrutiny and a complaint to the court’s registry had not yielded results.

‘Granted lands are being sold for astronomical values for unjust enrichment’