Staff Reporter

Says any indiscriminate acquisition of lands amounts violation of Constitution

  • Comprehensive report on allotment of land sought within three months
  • Firm files petition against KIADB for taking action 14 years after allotment of land

    BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure over the indiscriminate acquisition of land for industrial purposes by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) and directed it to inquire into the allotment of lands for industrial purposes around Bangalore city and in Bangalore Rural district and submit within three months a comprehensive report.

    The court criticised the KIADB for indiscriminately acquiring lands in the guise of allotting them to industries.

    Such acquisitions, the court said, violated the constitutional rights of the landholders. It said any arbitrary acquisition of the property and without there being any genuine need would constitute violation of agricultural land.

    The court was dealing with a petition by a silk unit, which had challenged the action taken by the KIADB for not utilising space of 1,782 square metres. The petitioner said the action was illegal and ultra vires as the KIADB had initiated proceedings 14 years after the allotment of land.

    The petitioner said it had utilised 60 per cent of the 4,032 square metres allotted to it and it intended to install machinery in the rest of the area to manufacture silk fabrics for twisting, weaving and dying of silk and other yarns. It said a comprehensive report on the expansion plans had been submitted to the authorities on December 22, 2005.

    Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh, who was hearing the case, expressed displeasure over the arbitrary action of the KIADB.

    He said even as the board was shown to have taken action against the unit for not utilising the full extent of land, it was acquiring land indiscriminately in and around Bangalore city and Bangalore Rural district under the guise of allotting them to industrial establishments.

    Mr. Justice Ramesh said it was time to find out whether applicants who came forward for allotment of land in and around Bangalore were genuinely interested in establishing industrial units.

    He asked the KIADB to submit within two months a comprehensive report on what action was being taken in respect of similar industries, the number of industries to whom the lands had been allotted, the extent of land utilised by the industries.

    The board was asked to report on the status of unutilised lands and the lands acquired by it during the last five years and land proposed for acquisition.