BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is facing the heat of BJP allegations that he intervened to override a Supreme Court order in denotifying two parcels of land in Bengaluru North taluk in 2016.
Releasing documents related to the alleged denotification process, BJP MLC B J Puttaswamy told reporters on Tuesday that 6 acres and 26 guntas notified in Bhoopsandra in Bengaluru North taluk for a residential area in RMV Stage 2 in 1982, was subsequently denotified in June 2016, in violation of the Supreme Court orders.
“Though the land acquisition was completed, the notification process over and people allotted sites, the denotification process was set in motion in 2013 through an appeal from Congress MLA Vasanth Bangera (to the Chief Minister). Later, the original landholder (one K V Jayalakshamma) approached the High Court seeking denotification of land, while suppressing the SC order. Based on that, the High Court quashed the 1982 notification. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister wrote two letters to the BDA asking it to examine the case and made it withdraw an appeal challenging the high court order which had gone in favour of the original landholders,” Puttaswamy said.
Puttaswamy estimated the value of the land to be `300 crore and said they would file a complaint with the Anti Corruption Bureau with all the requisite documents. “Resign if you (Siddaramaiah) have any decency,” Puttaswamy said, while adding that they were seeking legal opinion about filing a contempt of court petition. BJP spokesperson G Madhusudan piped in saying, “Let us see if ACB has the ‘meter’ (courage) to investigate this case.” Madhusudan was taking a dig at Siddaramaiah who recently used the slang word while targeting BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa.
Asked about the present status of land, Puttaswamy said they had still not been able to obtain a copy of the mutation record, that showed the present owners of the contested land.Reacting to Puttaswamy’s allegations, Siddaramaiah denied denotifying any land. “When I have not done anything, where is the question of any allegation? They are just trying to besmirch me as elections are nearing. I will file a defamation case and I am consulting my lawyers about this,” he said.
Bengaluru Development Minister K J George convened a hasty press conference to deny the allegations. “We have not done any denotification. I do not know the status of the land at present, but I will find out,” he said.
It was an ironic admission by the minister, who was flanked by BDA Commissioner Rakesh Singh and Additional Chief Secretary Urban Development Department Mahendra Jain. He defended the government’s action saying they asked all the departments to examine representations made to them and this was done in a similar vein.
George calls scribe party spokesperson, apologises
Minister George faced flak when he called a journalist a ‘party spokesperson’ for asking him questions about the denotification. George was annoyed when asked why the CM had written twice to the BDA telling them to examine the case. “If you speak like a party spokesperson, I cannot do anything about it,” he said indicating the journalist was speaking on behalf of BJP. When the angry journalists demanded an apology, George later apologised to the journalist.
Case pertains to BDA’s acquisition of two parcels of land measuring 6 acres and 26 guntas in Survey No. 20 and 21 of Bhupasandra in Kasaba hobli, Bengaluru North taluk. Final notification was issued in December 1982. Raj Mahal Vilas 2nd stage extension was created and 22 people were allotted sites and given possession letters. In 1992, the land was denotified under Land Acquisition Act. Allottees challenged this in the High Court which set aside the denotification. One of the original land owners Syed Bashid challenged this up to the Supreme Court, which upheld the HC decision to scrap the deno tification. In 2013, Congress MLA Vasanth Bangera wrote to the CM requesting him to denotify the land. The CM then wrote to the BDA Commissioner asking him to examine the case. Meanwhile, one of the land owners, K V Jayalakshamma, approached the High Court seeking denotification of land and the High Court quashed the notification and ordered restoration of land to the original owners. Jayalakshamma had given the General Power of Attorney to one Keerthi Raj Shetty, said to be a close associate of Siddaramaiah. Meanwhile, the CM sent another reminder to BDA to examine the case. While BDA intended to appeal the case, the Law Department advised against it. Subse quently, BDA wrote to Bengaluru North taluk tahsildar asking him to given an endorsement to the original owners saying the land had been dropped from acquisition.