Big blow to K'taka govt: SC stays Akrama Sakrama scheme

The apex court had admitted Namma Bengaluru Foundation and MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s petition.
Big blow to K'taka govt: SC stays Akrama Sakrama scheme
Big blow to K'taka govt: SC stays Akrama Sakrama scheme
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In a major setback to the Karnataka government, the Supreme Court, on Friday, granted a stay on the Akrama Sakrama scheme until hearing begins.

The apex court admitted Namma Bengaluru Foundation and MP Rajeev Chandrashekar’s petition challenging the Akrama Sakrama laws in the state.

The apex court also directed the petition to be converted into a civil appeal.

Granting interim protection, the SC stated that no applications made under the Akrama Sakrama scheme would be processed and granted a complete stay on the operation until the appeal is heard by the court.

The court, however, did not allow the BBMP and Karnataka government’s plea to expedite the hearings.

The petition was filed in the Supreme Court by NBF on Wednesday.

The Akrama Sakrama scheme aims to regularise certain unauthorised buildings in Karnataka. It involves paying a one-time penalty to regularise deviations of up to 50% in residential buildings and up to 25% in commercial structures. The BBMP is authorised to demolish all other buildings that have violations over and above the fixed norms.

The Akrama Sakrama scheme was introduced by the state government in March 2015. The government had introduced this scheme as all unauthorised buildings could not be razed and the state needed to come up with a solution to regularise these buildings once and for all. 

“Namma Bengaluru Foundation welcomes the stay by the Supreme Court. We support Akrama Sakrama as long as it helps the poor and middle class. It should essentially be clubbed with penalizing erring builders and officials who act on vested interest. A great future for our city is only possible when laws are respected and when the city is not made a victim of law breakers. Rules are vague today, allows administrators to get away from the lapses and also allows the unauthorized structures to come up. NBF will continue its fight against breaking rules and laws of our city,” the organisation has written on its Facebook page.

The Karnataka High Court had on December 14 rejected Public Interest Petitions filed by Citizen Action Forum and NBF stating said the rules framed by the government clearly bar regularisation of construction on storm water drains, tank beds, river courses, canals, and areas below high tension electrical lines.

NBF had moved the apex court following the High Court’s order on the Akrama Sakrama scheme claiming that the violation would recur and that builders would get away by paying a one-time fee.

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