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BDA Commissioner told to appear before High Court Bench

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, APRIL 2. The High Court has directed the Commissioner, Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), to appear before it on April 12 on a contempt petition filed against him by Vysya Bank.

The bank, on March 31, 1995, purchased a building and a site in Jayanagar 5th Block belonging to Suralli Narasimha Murthy. The BDA allotted site no 527 to Mr. Murthy on June 4, 1976.

Mr. Murthy later divided the site into two. He built a house on site no. 527 A and raised a garden on site no. 527 B. He got the sale deeds of the plots registered in his name on December 21, 1989, and December 25, 1989. He took a loan of Rs. 37 lakh from a nationalised bank in Banashankari by pledging the two sites. In 1995, the Vysya Bank purchased both the sites and wanted to convert them into an official residence for its chairman and managing director (CMD). It purchased site no. 527 A for Rs. 72 lakh and site no. 527 B for Rs. 48 lakh. The mortgage of the house and the plot was redeemed and the CMD of the bank began staying there.

In 2002, the BDA Commissioner informed the CMD that the building was illegal and Mr. Murthy had fabricated documents to show that he had been allotted the site. The BDA Commissioner reportedly threatened to demolish the building.

The bank, in its petition, said that the BDA did not serve any notice on it. Besides, there was no court order to demolish the building. The High Court dismissed the petition on October 28, 2002, and directed the BDA not to demolish the building for four weeks. It observed that the petition could be contested as a civil suit. The bank filed a civil suit in a city court on November 16, 2002. When the matter came up for hearing, the BDA advocate said nothing would be done to the property till the midnight of November 25, 2002.

However, the BDA began demolishing the building on November 25. Incidentally, the city court had fixed the hearing of the case on November 25. When the bank appealed to the High Court, it ordered that the building should not be demolished. In its contempt petition, the bank said the BDA had violated the court directions. Besides, it had carried out the demolition after giving an undertaking to the court.

A Division Bench comprising Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Hulavadi G. Ramesh posted the case to April 12 and directed the commissioner to appear before it.

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