Arkavathi Layout row: HC sets up panel to examine correctness of deleting 983.33 acres

The three-member committee will see whether the BDA adhered to directions of the HC and the apex court on Arkavathi Layout land

Observing that ‘acceptable and justifiable reasons are lacking’ in Bangalore Development Authority’s action of deleting 983.33 acres of land after the issuance of final notification for Arkavathi Layout in 2004, the High Court of Karnataka has set up a three-member committee to examine whether the BDA adhered to earlier directions of the High Court and the apex court in retaining or deleting the land notified for the layout.

The committee will consist of K.N. Keshavanarayana, a retired judge of the High Court, Sandeep Dave, a retired IAS officer, and N.S. Megharik, a retired IPS officer, to examine the manner and method adopted by the BDA in deleting 983.33 acres of land.

Justice Aravind Kumar delivered the verdict on September 27 while disposing of around 446 petitions filed by K.P. Anjanappa and hundreds of others questioning the modified final acquisition notification issued by the BDA on June 18, 2014.

The committee shall examine whether the claim of land owners for deleting their land from being acquired is within the parameters of the directions issued by the Division Bench of the HC in 2005 and of the apex court in Bondu Ramaswamy’s case of 2010 related to Arkavathi Layout land acquisition, the court said.

It said that the committee will have to examine all such representations received by BDA pursuant to 2005 and 2010 judgements, and submit a report to the BDA. The BDA, based on the report of the committee, should take steps to delete or include such land from acquisition from amongst 988 acres denotified lands, the court said.

The court also said the committee would examine all the representations submitted by the land owners to the BDA to ascertain whether the land of the applicants are landlocked and/or adjacent land having been dropped from acquisition without dropping the land of the applicants.

Meanwhile, the court has clarified that all lands, which are the subject matter of acquisition for the purpose of Arkavathi Layout if having been converted, layout formed, sites carved and constructions having been put-up prior to issuance of preliminary notification dated February 3, 2003, would be entitled for deletion from acquisition, subject to report being submitted by the Committee to that effect.

It has laid down several other parameters to be examined by the committee on case-to-case basis to verify the actions of the BDA in deletion of lands based on application by land owners or suo moto by the authority based on 2005 and 2010 judgements, or rejection of plea for deletion of lands from acquisition.

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Sagar Biswas

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