HC tells defence not to use land in 9 villages for firing practice

Published: 24th August 2016 05:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2016 05:49 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU:  The High Court on Tuesday restrained defence authorities from using 7,469.11 acres in nine villages of Belagavi district for field firing, artillery activities.

The nine villages are Hangargi, Savgav, Benakanahalli, Mandoli, Navage, Belagundi, Bijagarni, Kuttalavadi and Bokanar in Belagavi taluk.

A division bench of Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice Ravi Malimath passed the order after the court was informed that the acquisition proceedings are yet to be finalised. The bench disposed of PIL filed by Prabhakara R Kattimani and 10 agriculturists who challenged the field firing as they said land is close to inhabited areas.

They sought directions to shift the facility to an alternative site offered by the state government. The petitioners’ counsel argued that the state had allotted 331.43 hectares of forest land at Marihal and Ramadurga villages and permission has been accorded for using the same.

“The state government, without any authority of law and in exercise of power conferred under Section 9(1) of the Manoeuvres, Field Firing and Artillery Practice Act, 1938, issued a notification authorising defence authorities to carry on firing activities by using private patta lands without acquisition of the land or paying compensation and the said notification was renewed without any justifiable reasons,” the petitioners claimed.

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