Staff Reporter

High courtround-up The court observed that it took 13 years to file a petition against a land tribunal order

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday criticised the State Government for the delay in filing petitions on time and directed the Law Secretary and the Revenue Secretary to ascertain the reasons and initiate disciplinary action against officials responsible.

Rejecting a writ petition by the Government against an order of the Land Tribunal of Bijapur, Justice R. Gururajan observed that the tribunal had passed orders on July 21, 1993, and the petition was filed nearly 13 years later.

Justice Gururajan directed both secretaries "to get hold of the files", find out the reason for the failure to file the petition on time, and if need be, initiate disciplinary proceedings for negligence or misconduct.

The State had challenged the order of the Basavana Bagewadi Land Tribunal on a matter related to Land Reforms Act.

The tribunal had dismissed the Government's contention that Dhanappa Saibanna Sheelavant and two others had excess land.

The tribunal said it was a seven-member family, and there was no excess land when land was distributed among them.

The State said it had issued orders on August 26, 1996 for filing a petition against the tribunal order and the case papers were sent to the office of the Advocate General on the High Court premises.

The official concerned could not prepare the petition as there were no instructions from the State.

Justice Gururajan regretted that when matters related to land came up before the courts, they were not taken seriously by the Government. That had resulted in a failure to meet the objectives of land reforms.

He said courts had condoned delays in filing appeals. However, a delay of 13 years was inexplicable and it could not be excused.

Dismissed

A Division Bench comprising Justice B. Padmaraj and Justice S. Abdul Nazir on Thursday dismissed a habeas corpus petition by Sunil of Shahpeth in Bijapur questioning the detention of his father, Basappa, under the Goonda Act. Basappa is under detention since August 2005.

Allowed

Justice Nagmohan Das on Thursday allowed a petition by a former employee of Syndicate Bank and directed it to give him all monetary benefits. K. Dugganna Poojary had been posted as Manager of the branch in Chickpet, Bangalore, between 1993 and 1997.

The bank held him guilty of committing irregularities and dismissed him from service on March 11, 2000, when he was Chief Officer. Justice Nagmohan Das upheld Mr. Poojary's contentions and said it had not acted in a fair manner during the inquiry proceedings. The court levied costs of Rs. 10,000 on the bank and asked it to give monetary benefits to Mr. Poojary.

Parking

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice K.L. Manjunath on Thursday said the Deputy Commissioner of Traffic, Bangalore, had submitted to the court a report on parking of vehicles on High Court premises.

Speaking on behalf of the Bench, Justice Joseph said he was yet to go through the report. He had requested other judges to park their vehicles in the basement of the High Court building. These observations were made after K.N Subba Reddy filed a public interest litigation petition seeking regulation of parking of vehicles around the High Court.

The Bench adjourned hearing to June 1.

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