Monday, September 10, 2012

Governor returns Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill

Bangalore, September 4, 2012

It may lead to illegal grabbing of government land: communiqué

Governor H.R. Bhardwaj has returned the Karnataka Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2012 to the State government on the grounds that the “policy of regularisation of encroachment of government land directly encouraged illegal occupation of government land.”

According to a communiqué from the Raj Bhavan, the amendment to the Bill sought to substitute the existing section 94C of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964 with certain modifications. “The object of the amendment is to grant government land unauthorisedly occupied by persons in rural areas who have built dwelling houses prior to January 1, 2012,” the communiqué said.

The Governor has returned the Bill to the government with a message under Article 200 of the Constitution for reconsideration of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council citing the report of the State Task Force for Protection of Public Lands headed by the former IAS official V. Balasubramanian.

“In the background of large-scale unauthorised occupation of public land, the task force looked into large-scale unauthorised occupation of government land, including forest land and common land. The report, submitted in 2011, highlighted that an extent of over 11 lakh acres of government land are under unauthorised occupation,” the communiqué said.

“The Joint Legislature Committee constituted to go into the details of the problem of land-grabbing and encroachments has also observed that because of the inaction of the government against land-grabbers, real estate agents and their abettors, ordinary citizens have come to lose faith in government and administration. The committee has said that it is essential for the government to take action against land-grabbers and their abettors,” the communiqué said.

“This amendment will cause severe inroads into the lofty principles such as Rule of Law, Equality before Law, Due Process, Majesty of Law, Dignity of Courts, Inalienable Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles, etc., which are enshrined in the Constitution. The Bill, extending the period till January, 2012, has given scope for further illegal occupation of government land. In the larger interest of the public, illegal occupation of government land has to be curbed,” the communiqué said.

“The Amendment Bill does not specifically prohibit grant or regularisation of common land. This amendment does not serve any public good or social cause. On the other hand, it may lead to illegal grabbing of government land and may cause inroads into Rule of Law,” the communiqué added.

Copyright © 2012, The Hindu 

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