By : M.S.Yatnatti Editor and Video Journalist Bangalore :The State Government has rightly decided to regularize 3,699 acres of encroachment of Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) land, which may house an estimated 66,500 sites plus about 20 000 pending files in all about one lakhs sites . For this state government need to amend BDA Act and Rules.This land spread across 68 BDA layouts, has been notified and acquired by BDA during the formation of these respective layouts. However, private individuals though do not have titles over the property have had possession of these lands and has seen development. These private individuals have been enjoying these properties in many cases for more than two decades now. Not just that, most of these cases are currently pending before the courts as the private property owners have either challenged the acquisition or have sought a title deed. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that as most of these lands are developed into residential areas, it was not possible for the Government to evict all these residents. "There are only two options here. Either we evict them or regularise them. It is a question of more than 60,000 households. We have decided to regularise these possessions with a fee that is presently being worked out. This will ensure revenue of a few thousand crores to BDA and also solve the issue for the people,” he said adding that the Government had sought legal opinion on the process to be followed for the same. It is good decision as State Government need to amend the BDA Act and rules. Some of the bulk allotments Re-Convey re-allotment and regularisation were made by the Authority in favour of the State and Central Government Organisations, House Building Co-operative Societies and several thousand individualshave been quashed by the High Court of Karnataka in various Writ Petitions because there is no provision in the Act for making bulk allotment and Re-conveyance . Therefore, it was considered necessary to amend the Bangalore Development Authority Act,- (i) to take power to make bulk allotment; (ii) to validate bulk allotment made earlier. Opportunities are also taken to make certain consequential amendments. The Act was amended and section 38-C and VALIDATION Act was introduced in BDA Act. Sevral thousand sites were validated and BDA was in process of issuing sale deeds and R&R department was created in BDA to carry out Re-Convey re-allotment and regularization.While BDA was in process another blow came from supreme court in Bangalore Development Authority ... vs R. Hanumaiah & Others on 3 October, 2005.It was held that "BDA can do Re-Convey re-allotment and regularization only forthe allotment made between 20th December, 1973 to 8th May, 1986 and not prior to that as Section 9 of the Amendment Act validates the allotment made between 20th December, 1973 to 8th May, 1986. Section 38-C only authorises the BDA to allot a site in a development scheme to a person whose land had been acquired. "This apart Section 38-C is prospective in its application except to the extent of the allotment made between 20th December, 1973 to 8th May, 1986 which are saved by Section 9 of the Amendment Act. The resolution of CITB of 1972 agreeing to re-convey the part of the land acquired is not covered by the provisions of Section 9 of the Amendment Act. In the present case, the resolution of the CITB predecessor-in-interest is dated 19.4.1972 and it would not be deemed to be validated by the deemed fiction created by Section 9 of the Amendment Act to bring it within the provisions of Section 38 -C.”.This small mistake of government put 20,000 files pending while it clared several thousand files with this amendment for the resolutions passed between 20th December, 1973 to 8th May, 1986 which were validated and approved by several court orders.But government intension was to solve problems of all the bulk allotments Re-Convey re-allotment and regularisation were made by the Authority since CITB formation in 1945 in favour of the State and Central Government Organisations, House Building Co-operative Societies and several thousand individuals .Now government and BDA have realized their mistake and proposed a small amendment to validation Actto solve this problemand the amendment is instead of "between 20th December, 1973 to 8th May, 1986” the amendment will be in the place of word "20th December, 1973” the following word may be substituted "Since the formation of CITB in 1945” to 30th December, 2015 .Which will make the Validation ActSection 9 of the Amendment Act validates the allotment made between Since the formation of CITB in 1945 to 8th May, 1986. Section 38-C only authorises the BDA to allot a site in a development scheme to a person whose land had been acquired and this will solve more than 20,000 files will be cleared and houses regularized and BBMP can give them A khata and get taxes from them legally.
It is expected that new committee constituted in respect of G category will consider the request to amend the BDA Act as per court order to legalsie the G category allotments .The government is at liberty to Amend the BDAAct as suggested by experts to clear 20,000 Re-Convey files and to validate about 5000 "G” category allotment orders made since 1997Government can easily resolve the "G” category sites issue by amending BDA Act and Rules as order in WP 23475/2010 dated 25-08-2012 gave liberty to frame appropriate rules."G” category sites allotments were made to persons in public life to several thousand persons since 1997 recommended and made by the government since 1997 and BDA allotted sites to them and "G” category allotments made to several thousand individuals have been quashed by the High Court of Karnataka in various Writ Petitions stating that there is no provision in the Act for making "G” category allotments (though it is disputed). Therefore, it was considered necessary to amend the Bangalore Development Authority Act,- (i) to take power to make "G” category site allotments by Government ; (ii) to validate "G” category allotmentsmade earlier since 1997 by orders issued by Government and BDA to honor all allotments orders of Government made from 1997 . Opportunities can also be taken to make certain consequential amendments.When institutions other than the executive try their hand at policymaking and about discretionary powers of government, the consequences can be disastrous. The government is accountable to the people through legislature. Governments are not in the business of maximizing revenues. Instead of filling its own pocket, it is obliged, in a welfare state and particularly if government recognizes person in public life and reward them G Category sites it does its duty. You cannot have three executives running the government. This is not to say that courts should not strike down individual site allotments if they are made violating BDA Act and rules and Government Circulars as per THE KARNATAKA GENERAL CLAUSES ACT, 1899 , and Regulations/Rules made there under. Individual acts of criminal culpability must be dealt with. Criminal wrongdoing must not be condoned. This does not give reason for stating that government should not have power of allotment of G Category under discretionary quota altogether. But the manner in which G Category sites are allotted for a particular category must be decided upon by government. Not by the media trials. Not by courts. If government has no power than who has power? Actually it is ridiculous to state that government has no power to allot G category sites.
When BDA has power to allot sites in A B C D E F Categories and even today it is allotting then why Government has no power to allot "G " category is when it has power to do so under same circular under which BDA has power.BDA failed to defend the government before Karnataka court. , But this controversy was created by BDA officers with and Government advocates with political and vested interests in respect of G category and with intention oftroublingthestate Government of which it is subordinate . Government can allot sites under "G” category sites as per updated rules dated 26 -08-1997 not the out dated circular dated 06-08-1997. State cabinetneed to take call on the subject of G-Category it has toreview Justice Padmaraj Committee report. Advocate Generalshould guide State cabinet which of the sets of court orders need to followed by BDA and UDD Government of Karnataka whereas one set of orders gives direction to allot G category sites to BDA and states that Government has power to allot G category sites and other set orders states that government has no power to allot G category sites . State cabinet Sub-committee on G category in my view should reject Justice Padmaraj Committee report and file review petition before high court and publish new rules for G category and validating earlier allotments and orders of allotments allotment empowering government with clear terms and also direct BDA to clear allotment of about 955 + 325= 1280 siteallotments for which government has issued orders and still allotments are still pending with BDA to allot them on priority to all eligible allottees including that of Mr M.S.Rajshekhar as per Government order Number UDD 407 BLA 2005dated 27-01-2006. As per Karnataka High court order in in WA 2066/2006 dated 12-09-2007, The Division Bench of Honble justice Sridhar Rao and Honble justice L Narayan Swamyhave held thatthat BDA is subordinate to Government and cannot question the act of Government and BDA is bound by directions issued under Section 65 of the BDA Actin respect of G category of site.
Wherefore there is no legal impediment to BDA to allot siteto Mr M.S.Rajshekhar as per Government order Number UDD 407 BLA 2005dated 27-01-20006 as it has allotted the sites against almost all government orders except few likeMr M.S.Rajshekhar the social worker and Person In Public Life. In the light of above facts Mr M.S.Rajshekhar in a letter to BDA has requested BDAto allot him G Category site as per BDA Act and rules prevailing at the time in force as suchKarnataka High Court has not quashedtheRule 5 of the BDA (Allotment of Sites) Rules, 1984 and Revised Guidelines on Allotment of Stray Sites, 1997and the Government of Karnataka is not party to the case inSri K.Raju v BDA (ILR 2011 KAR 120. I feel with above narration BDA and Government is legally empowered to consider his request to allot him G category site..I am Looking forward for justice and equityfrom BDA in respect ofMr M.S.Rajshekhar and others who have not been allotted the G category sites despite government orders. The BDAis THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY under obligation to provide information "PUBLICLY” under section 4(1) (a) (b) (c) (d). RTI Act 2005 is an Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, and whereas democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed; State Government has authority under the provisions of BDA Act 1976 and rules made there under to direct BDA to allot the sites to any person/persons under "G” category as per the corrigendum CircularNo UDD 129 MNJ97 (P) Bangalore dated 26 -08-1997and not under Circular No UDD 129 MNJ dated 06-08-1997 which is referred and is the subject matter of the court orderin Sri K.Raju v BDA ILR 2011 KAR 120 and this court order is not applicable to government as it is not party to it and is infractuous” Instead of bringing to the notice of the high court the above facts the then Additional Advocate General K.M. Nataraj had suppressed the facts before the court and given incorrect legal opinion that there was no need for filing an appeal as the single judge verdict was proper. Whereas the the then Advocate GeneralS Vijay Shankar had given clean chit to then Law Minister Suresh Kumar stating thathe has not violated any BDA rules in getting the site under the G Category and several high court orders categorically states thatState Government has authority under the provisions of BDA Act 1976 and rules made there under to direct BDA to allot the sites to any person/persons under "G” category as per theCirculars issued time to time and also state has powers under section 21 of THE KARNATAKA GENERAL CLAUSES ACT, 1899.BDA should immediately up -date its Affidavit Format as per the latest amendments in section 10(3) of site allotment rules . State Government should seek AG legal opinion in respect of G Category allotments such that it can give sites to several deserved persons in public life as per Latest Government Circulars and Karnataka High Court orders. The fact remains is "State Government has authority under the provisions of BDA Act 1976 and rules made there under to direct BDA to allot the sites to any person/persons under "G” category as per the corrigendum CircularNo UDD 129 MNJ97 (P) Bangalore dated 26 -08-1997and not under Circular No UDD 129 MNJ dated 06-08-1997”."State Government has authority to direct BDA to allot the sites under "G” category” as BDA is allotting ABCDEF Categories even today.. I had asked Karnataka high court and Advocate General under RTI to Please provide me information which of the following sets of court orders need to followed by BDA and UDD Government of Karnataka whereas one set of orders gives direction to allot G category sites to BDA and states that Government has power to allot G category sites and other set orders states that government has no power to allot G category sites.Following is set of Karnataka High Court Orders which are directing to allot G Category of sites to BDA and issues writ to allot the sites to BDA and states that Government has power to allot or cancel G category sites. Karnataka high court and Advocate General both did not replied But Then HUD secretary promised me that she will file appeal and by the time she take up the issue she was transferred and other secretaries conveniently forgotten the issue .