Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday took to task the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) for the manner in which cases relating to its acquisition of land were being defended in court.

The court informed the KIADB Special Deputy Commissioner, who was present in the court, that when matters relating to the board were called, the advocate hired by the board was neither present nor was any statement of objection filed. Besides, the records pertaining to acquisition of land are also not made available.

In his order, Justice N. Kumar said that “the worst part is that many times, the advocate is substituted by another advocate. The law provides for it and this court cannot interfere in such matters provided the substitute advocate has the capacity to assist the court and defend the KIADB. It is our experience that they (substitute advocates) are not proceeding with the cases and the only submission they make is for seeking adjournment, so that they could take instructions.”

The judge further noted that “sometimes it so happens that four advocates representing KIADB are sitting in the court hall but the advocate on record is not present and the court is helpless.”

It was the prerogative of the client to change advocates and courts had no say in the matter, he said.

When a public authority, which was dealing with a public property was not represented, the court could not pass ex parte orders. It was to impress upon the KIADB these facts that the Special Deputy Commissioner had been asked to be present in court.

In a related development, Justice Kumar directed the Commissioner of Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to be present in court on Monday as the advocate had not placed before the court certain documents relating to a sale deed of a site belonging to Jayamma in Rangenahalli in Bangalore.