Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Don’t Take God’s Name to Grab Government Land, says Karnataka High Court

4 Feb,2018 | Yathiraju | The Indian Express

Bengaluru: Observing that most parcels of government land are being misused for the benefit of individuals, the Karnataka High Court has said that God’s name should not be used for grabbing public land.

Justice B Veerappa made this observation in a recent judgment while dismissing a petition filed by Sri Sadguru Saibaba Charitable Trust located in Hulimangala village of Anekal taluk in Bengaluru Urban district. The trust was represented by its president M Rajappa. The trust had allegedly encroached upon land belonging to Hulimangala gram panchayat and constructed a temple and claimed ownership of the land.

While dismissing the trust’s petition of the trust as it had filed a memo seeking withdrawal of the petition, Justice Veerappa said, “The conduct of government authorities and the gram panchayat clearly shows that they are not discharging their institutional responsibility.”

He further said, “That is how much of government land is being misused by unauthorised persons like the petitioner, that too in the name of God... This should be stopped... The name of God should not be brought on record unnecessarily for grabbing land for the benefit of an individual person.”

As per the order, the piece of land in question originally belongs to the state government. On October 3, 2011, the Special Deputy Commissioner transferred the property, bearing Survey No. 156 of Hulimangala village, Jigani hobli, Anekal taluk, measuring 5.7 acres to the gram panchayat for the Ashraya scheme.

Meanwhile, the trust allegedly encroached upon 10 guntas of the land and constructed a temple on 2 guntas and filed a suit claiming ownership of the 10 guntas before the lower courts in Anekal. Both the courts, however, did not pass any temporary injunction on the trust’s application. Therefore, the trust approached the High Court.

After the arguments were heard by the High Court, the counsel for the trust filed a memo seeking withdrawal of the petition.

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