After the government showed decades-old documents in 2014 laying claim to the Bangalore Club land, an Indian Peace Keeping Force veteran has made a contrary claim.
According to documents produced by the IPKF veteran, the 13-acre land on which the Bangalore Club now stands, once belonged to the army, reported Bangalore Mirror.
This is almost a year after KAS officer N Mahesh Babu, assistant commissioner (north) passed a notice saying that the land belonged to the government and that it should be handed over to the state administration.
Following this, an interlocutory application was filed at the high court by two city lawyers stating that the 13 acres belonged to defence authorities.
The application said: â€śPrima facie, the Bangalore Club land belongs to the defence establishment by virtue of the ownership of the Bangalore United Service Club. Therefore, the petitioner must be restrained from changing the character of the land and collecting or raising any money in the name of club membership henceforth in any manner, and also be restrained from adding any new members until the title dispute is settled, otherwise, the Petitioner shall continue to make wrongful gains out of the defence property without any lawful title.''
Retired colonel Padma Kumar, an IPKF war veteran who is now based in Bengaluru, gathered documents to show that the land does not belong to Bangalore Club.
â€śThe authorities have taken note of the case and the file is at army headquarters. The army did not show interest when the inquiry was being held by the district administration and nobody from the Defence Estate Office represented the case. Now after Col Padma Kumar's efforts in retracing old files, the authorities have realised that the prime land belongs to the defence,'' a senior commander in the know told Bangalore Mirror.
â€śA prime parcel of land that inadvertently belongs to the defencestate government, presently occupied by a People's Association called Bangalore Club.This land of 13 acres is valued at around `3,000 crore. This land if retrieved could house a United Services Institute for the army, navy and air force. As in the British era, a genuine requirement of the military establishment was the United Services Club wherein all service members in Bangalore have a single club. Since the land titles and the ownership can be traced back to the government and the armed services, the government can retrieve the land and hand it over to the defence,â€ť wrote Colonel Kumar in his letter.
â€śThe British handed over the army land to Bangalore United Services Club (presently Bangalore Club) for club activities and not to own the land. Over a period of time, the club slowly started a process to remove any kind of army influence or participation in the club's affairs. Defence authorities are sure that the land records dating back to British Bangalore exist and can be fished out to prove ownership,â€ť he wrote.