BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court has come to the rescue of a sexagenarian, whose land in Banashankari 6th Stage was forcibly taken away by Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) without following the statutory acquisition proceedings.
Observing that the conduct of the BDA shook the conscience of the court, Justice Krishna S Dixit ordered the BDA to give PG Belliappa developed land measuring 31,613 sqft in Banashankari 6th Stage on ownership and possession basis, to compensate for the land he had lost to the BDA. Alternatively, it ordered BDA to give Belliappa developed land in any other nearest layout, with a market value of 31,613 sqft of developed land, the judge said.
Belliappa, 66, residing on Cunningham Road in Bengaluru, had moved court seeking direction to the BDA commissioner to hand over possession of vacant site No.19 of Jettagarahalli village, near Hemmigepura, in Banashankari 6th Stage in Bengaluru.
In addition to the developed land, the court also ordered BDA to pay Rs 1 lakh by way of damages, for each year of unauthorised deprivation of Belliappa’s land measuring 63,000 sqft, since February 7, 2002.
Narrating Belliappa’s sufferings at the hands of the bureaucracy in the BDA, the court said the amount should be recovered from the erring officials of the BDA as they are responsible for the unauthorised utilisation of the land, and for delaying the grant of compensation to Belliappa, despite BDA passing a resolution in 2002. Further, the court ordered that adverse entry be made in the Service Registers of the erring officials.
Belliappa contended before court that the BDA had appropriated his land measuring 63,162 sqft without following the acquisition process. This is robbery of the citizen and despite repeated requests, not paying compensation is gross violation of the constitutional right to property, he claimed.
The BDA stated that it had utilised the petitioner’s land measuring 63,000 sqft to form roads, parks and sites without acquiring the land for the purpose of BSK 6th Stage. It also stated that it would give 50% of developed land (17,296 sqft) to Belliappa in the same layout, subject to availability or as an alternative, in another layout.