Time to shut down Bangalore Development authority via ordinance: Chief Justice of Karnataka HC

The bench also suggested the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) Commissioner to visit his office in disguise to understand what is happening within the BDA.
Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High Court
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Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court PS Dinesh Kumar said that it is time for the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to be shut down via an ordinance. The statement was made when N Jayaram, the BDA Commissioner, appeared before the Chief Justice and Justice TG Shivashankare Gowda regarding a pending Regular First Appeal (RFA) filed by a landowner from Yeshwanthpur in Bengaluru on February 13.

The dispute revolves around the BDA's acquisition of Muddegowda’s land in 2003 for the Sir M Visvesvaraya Layout without proper acquisition procedures, resulting in several court cases over the years. Muddegowda had lodged an appeal in 2015 challenging a civil court's decision from March of the same year, which rejected his case due to his failure to substantiate the BDA's encroachment and demolition of structures on his land.

During the recent hearings, the BDA admitted to using 15 guntas of Muddegowda’s land in 2003 and failed to provide compensation for over two decades. BDA argued that Muddegowda claims over 18 guntas of his land had been encroached upon, prompting the BDA to request a fresh survey for verification.

“After 21 years, you want to survey the land to find out (the portion of encroachment). What should a citizen do in this country? Suppose you are the owner of the land, what would you do?” the bench asked the BDA commissioner. The bench questioned why compensation had not been paid for the admitted land of 15 guntas when the dispute pertained to only three to four guntas.

The bench also suggested the BDA Commissioner to visit his office in disguise to understand what is happening within the BDA. “We request you to go to your office in disguise. See how your office is reeking, people are not allowed inside. There are hundreds of agents who claim to get work done. People are shooed away,” the Chief Justice told the Commissioner.

"We have gone vocal, at least speaking for myself on the bench, that it is time that by an ordinance, the BDA must be closed. You must file an affidavit telling him that on this date, you will deliver and you must deliver it. It is in a request tone, but it is a command. The affidavit shall be here on the table the day after tomorrow. For the remaining dispute, do the survey and close the matter," the Chief Justice added. The Court posted the matter to Thursday, February 15 for further consideration.

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