BENGALURU: The amendment to the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, which planned to give occupancy rights to agricultural labourers in unrecorded habitations has been further delayed with the government now deciding to go for Presidential assent for the Bill.
Though the Bill was passed by both Houses in March, it had not been sent for the Governor’s assent for two months. The amendment Bill which had been termed as historic, revolutionary and progressive by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, has been sent to the President, based on the opinion of the Advocate General (AG).
Mayakonda Congress MLA Shivamurthy Naik, who has been pursuing the passage of the Bill, said land was a state subject and he had no idea why it was not sent to the Governor for approval. “I do not know why they had to seek AG’s opinion on this,” he said.
Naik met AICC president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday and submitted a memorandum alleging that the move to seek the AG’s opinion amounted to clear violation of rights of the Legislature and should be treated as contempt. He also said that sending it for Presidential assent amounted to intentionally stopping and delaying justice.
Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa claimed he had no knowledge of why the AG feltthat it be sent to the President. “Once a Bill is passed, it goes to the Law Department for further action. Since they opined it, we decided to go ahead with it,” he said.
About 58,000 hamlets like tandas, hatti, haadi, wadi, palya, camps, colonies, doddis and bastis which were previously unrecorded revenue lands, have been identified to extend legal status as recorded revenue villages and extend Right of Occupancy records to agricultural labourers, artisans, nomads, tribals and settlers. These people who have been residing in a dwelling house on a land not belonging to them prior to January 1, 1979 would be registered as owners.