BANGALORE: The High Court has refused to allow public access to the Kadanga, an ancient war trench, which is part of a private property.
A petition was filed by Iynanda K Chinnappa of Yadoor village in Kodagu district claiming exclusive right over the trench, located adjacent to the land he owns.
It is said one Balachanda Thammaiah, a villager, had appealed against Chinnappa and his sons for obstructing free passage through the trench. Thammaiah claimed that the trench belonged to the government due to its ancient origin.
The revenue officials and the Assistant Commissioner dismissed Thammaiah’s application stating that the trench is now private property. The district court, however, ordered for removal of the obstacles. Challenging the said order, Chinnappa moved the High Court.
Hearing the appeal, Justice Anand Byrareddy said the Kadanga is not public property and that over time, it has merged with the land of the petitioners and been in the exclusive possession of the petitioners for more than 50 years.
He also observed that under the Coorg Land Revenue Regulations, the Karnataka Revenue Survey Manual and the Mysore Land Revenue Code, do not define Kadanga in proper terms. Since there is no practical use of these trenches today, the government has not thought it fit to exercise any exclusive right over it, said the judge. The High Court set aside the order of the district court and said the Kadanga was not meant for public use.