Congress may go to court against amendment to Land Reforms Act: Siddaramaiah

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah participating in an interaction programme with journalists in Mysuru On Thursday.

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah participating in an interaction programme with journalists in Mysuru On Thursday.   | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

Accusing the State government of succumbing to pressure from the real estate lobby and amending the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday said the Congress was considering a proposal to move the courts against the “anti-farmer” amendment.

Participating in an interaction programme with journalists in Mysuru, he said the aim of the amendment to the Act by dropping Section 80 was to benefit non-agriculturists, who have purchased large tracts of agricultural lands in and around Bengaluru, Mysuru, and other parts of the State and are facing court cases.

As part of the amendment, which was effected through a “hurriedly” issued ordinance, Section 63 and 79 A, B and C of the Act, which deal with the ceiling on ownership, among other things, too have been dropped.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said 13,814 cases were pending before various courts in the State, reportedly involving 1.7 lakh acres of land. A majority of the cases pertained to Bengaluru Rural, where 1,800 cases were pending, followed by Bengaluru Urban and Mysuru, where 1,080 and 990 cases were pending, respectively. Similarly, a large number of cases were pending in Ramanagaram, Chickballapur, and Kolar, among other places, he said.

He estimated that as much as 41,000 acres of land was involved in litigation just in Bengaluru Rural and Urban areas. Claiming that an acre of agricultural land would cost anywhere between ₹2 crore and ₹10 crore, depending on the distance from Bengaluru, he sought to know the purpose behind the government’s decision. “What was the necessity? There must be a specific reason [for the move]. Did the people of the State demand it? If you issue an ordinance when the Assembly is not in session, there should be an emergency. What was the emergency?” he asked, before accusing the government of amending the piece of legislation with “mala fide” intentions as crores of rupees was involved in the matter.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 3:43:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cong-may-go-to-court-against-amendment-to-land-reforms-act-siddaramaiah/article32230042.ece

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