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Govt. told to act against `freedom fighter'

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, JAN. 3. The Karnataka High Court on Monday directed the State Government to initiate criminal proceedings against a native of Bidar for fabricating and forging records for obtaining pension under the freedom fighters' category.

Shivaram, who claimed to be a freedom fighter, had petitioned the High Court for pension under the Swatantra Sainik Sanman scheme.

The court had directed the authorities to consider Shivaram's application.

The State had written to the Centre requesting it to consider Shivaram's application for pension.

The Centre ordered an inquiry and found that Shivaram had forged several documents to show himself as a freedom fighter.

It placed the report before the court.

When the matter came up today, Justice N. Kumar directed the State Government to initiate criminal proceedings in accordance with law against Shivaram.

Summoned

A Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice, Nauvdip Kumar Sodhi, and Justice B. Padmaraj directed the then Special Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore, C. Krishne Gowda, and four other Government officials to appear in person on January 10 before the court.

The Bench was hearing a criminal contempt petition by K.N. Sreenivas, K.N. Suryaprakash and K.N. Sanath Kumar, all residents of Arakere in MICO Layout off Bannerghatta Road.

Mr. Sreenivas and others had petitioned the High Court against the alienation of 16 acres and 16 guntas of land on Survey No. 79/80 in Nallurhalli village in K.R. Puram. During the hearing, the Government gave an undertaking not to alienate the land. On September 30, 2003 the land was sold at Rs. 8 lakhs an acre to Sunrise Interactive Industries Ltd, for setting up a software technology park. The Government earned Rs. 1.59 crores through the sale.

In their contempt petition, Mr. Sreenivas and others said the land was sold for a pittance though it could fetch Rs. 1 crores an acre. The then Special Deputy Commissioner had sold the land disregarding the court order. They sought action against him and other respondents.

The Bench, which took a serious view of the violation of court orders, directed Mr. Krishne Gowda and other respondents to be personally present before the court.

Allowed

A Division Bench comprising Mr. Justice Sodhi and Mr. Justice Padmaraj allowed a writ appeal by the State Government seeking payment of excise dues of Rs. 18. 79 crores by A.J. Shetty and Sons, Mangalore, and set aside a single judge order.

The Bench asked the Deputy Commissioner of Mangalore to pass orders according to law on the recovery of dues from the company.

It set aside a single judge order of July 28, 2000 allowing the authorities to recover part payment of the dues.

The Government claimed that the company had not paid the excise arrears for several years though it had been given the right to vend liquor in retail in Mangalore.

The Deputy Commissioner issued a certificate under Section 63 of the Karnataka Excise Act, 1965, for the recovery of Rs. 18 crores. He also initiated attachment proceedings of the company's assets.

The company filed a petition in the Karnataka Appellate Tribunal which set aside the certificate of recovery. The State appealed in the High Court against this order.

When the matter came up, the State said the single judge's order was erroneous and illegal and it would engage defaulters.

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