The High Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) filed challenging the grant of about 8,932 acres of gomal (grazing) land in Challakere of Chitradurga district to various defence and scientific research organisations of Union government and two agencies of the State government.
The Division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice B V Nagarathna dismissed the petition filed by All India Kissan Sabha and three others. The bench also directed the petitioners to pay Rs 75,000 fine for wasting the court’s time. The bench dismissed the petition on the ground that there is no merit in petitioners’ claim.
The petitioners challenged the grant of land in 2009 to the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Karnataka State Small Industries Development Corporation (KSSIDC) and Karnataka Housing Board (KHB).
They contended that there were about 14,000 acres of Amrut Mahal Kaval (C) in different survey numbers of Varavu Kaval, Ullarti Kaval and Khudapura villages of Challakere taluk. They claimed that about 8,932 acres of this land had been granted to those organisations without following procedures and violating provisions of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act.
The petitioners claimed these lands are essentially gomal (pasture) lands used for grazing of cattle/sheep, a major occupation in an arid area where the average annual rainfall is only 573 mm.