Help Poor Land Encroachers, HC Tells Government - The New Indian Express

Help Poor Land Encroachers, HC Tells Government

Published: 07th December 2013 08:12 AM

Last Updated: 08th December 2013 07:44 AM

The High Court on Friday ruled in favour of 66 villagers who had encroached on grazing land, saying they were poor and deserved help to survive.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice S N Satyanarayana passed the order on a petition filed by B T Shivaprakash and five others of Basapura in Chitradurga district. The petition said the villagers had encroached on 94.9 acres of gomala (grazing) land and started cultivating it.

The bench observed that the encroachers were citizens of India and enjoyed the right to earn a livelihood, educate their children and feed them nutritious food. The judges asked, “If they are poor and landless, how can they do all this?” They ordered the state government to provide for the encroachers under its welfare schemes, and if possible under the law, grant land for those who had none.

The petition alleged 66 people from three adjacent villages had grabbed community land and were growing ragi and jowar during the rainy season.

Others in the area had no grass for their cattle and the cultivation had left them with no space to graze their animals, it said.

The counsel for the state government submitted that a trench would be dug around the grazing land and the encroachers provided with land and help under welfare schemes.

The bench directed the Chitradurga district administration and the Holalkere tahsildar to act on this submission and file a report by February 28.

The petitioners had said the encroached land used to provide grass for cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats, and their representations to the Deputy Commissioner had gone in vain.

Plea to Wind up Kingfisher Admitted

In a fresh blow to liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the high court on Friday admitted a petition calling for the winding up of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA).

The move comes within weeks of the high court accepting another plea to wind up UB Holdings Limited. The petition was filed by Aerotron Limited, which is one of the suppliers to the troubled airline and has been claiming dues amounting to `35 crore.

The earlier petition was admitted by the HC on November 19 and filed by BNP Paribas against UB Holdings, which owed around `600 crore to various companies.

The case on Friday was heard by Justice Anand Byrareddy who said the airline was not fit to repay its borrowings. Earlier, KFA lawyers had been given time till Friday to inform the court of a possible revival plan.

The company and its employees, who are also impleaded in the case, will have four weeks to appeal against the order. The winding up decision will be published in newspapers after this period, asking all lenders to claim  repayment of dues. The employees also stand to lose their jobs permanently should a stay on the order not be secured. During the hearing, Justice Byrareddy dismissed confidential evidence provided to the court by KFA that said the group is in talks with a potential investor who was keen on reviving the airline.

Sugar Factory Told to Pay Benefits

The High Court on Friday directed the Vani Vilas Cooperative Sugar Factory to pay `50 lakh termination benefits to its employees as it has not paid them even after 15 years of its closure.

A division Bench comprising Justices K L Manjunath and A C Chandrashekhara passed the order on a contempt petition filed by the factory employees for not executing a Single Bench order on providing termination benefits.

The court had directed the factory to pay the termination benefits within three months to all its former employees on January 23, 2012. But the factory management had not paid the dues despite the court direction. The employees had challenged this in the court.

Counsel for the petitioners submitted that more than 400 employees have not received any kind of termination benefits so far. The factory was suddenly closed and they do not have money to rebuild their lives, he contended.

The Bench ordered the factory owners to give a minimum of `10,000 each to the families of its employees. It adjourned the case for further hearing.

NICE offers Developed Land as Compensation

Bangalore: Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) on Friday submitted in an affidavit to the high court a proposal to offer 40 per cent of the developed land of a BMIC project coming up near Bidadi to villagers who lost land on account of it. The BMIC project involves construction of a corporate township in the area.

It made the submission before a division Bench comprising Justice H Billapa and Justice Aravind Kumar following a suggestion from the court to arrive at a solution. The company indicated it was prepared to compensate residents of three villages of Bangalore South taluk — Gonipura, Tippur and Sheegehalli — and three villages of Ramnagar taluk — Doddakuntenahalli, Kodiyala and Karenahalli (prices to be fixed).

The affidavit said more than Rs 3,000 crore had been invested in the project consisting of equity and debt. “Losses from the project, cost escalation and interest burden are mounting on us directly due to the hurdles and delay in implementation of the BMIC project,” the affidavit stated.

The High Court adjourned the matter for further hearing to January 3, 2014.

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