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Allotment of G category sites: case may go to larger Bench

Staff Reporter


Petitioner challenges allotment of more than 200 sites by H.D. Kumaraswamy

JD(S) petition against judicial probe into land scams referred to Division Bench


BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday orally observed that a case filed by a resident of Bangalore relating to allotment of sites to legislators and ministers by the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is a very sensitive issue and that it may refer it to a larger Bench.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice A.S. Bopanna made the oral observation when it was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by S. Vasudeva, a Bangalore-based advocate.

Mr. Vasudeva had challenged the allotment of more than 200 sites by the then Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy. He said all the allottees had been given sites under G category.

He said that procedures were not followed when the sites were allotted. He wanted the court to quash the allotments. He said there is a judgment of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana on the issue. This judgment, which had laid down certain guidelines on allotment of sites, was subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court.

The Bench asked Mr. Vasudeva to assist it in the case by placing before it the judgments of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and also the Supreme Court. It also orally observed that as the issue is a sensitive one, it may refer it to a larger Bench.

Lokayukta probe

Justice Mohan Shantangouder on Thursday referred to a Division Bench a petition by Janata Dal (Secular) spokesman Y.S.V. Datta relating to a judicial inquiry ordered by the State Government on acquisition of land.

Mr. Datta, who is also an MLC, said his party had already filed several complaints against Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyuruppa relating to acquisition and denotification of land in and around Bangalore and also in some districts.

He said the Lokayukta had already processed the complaints and set the investigation into motion. The Lokayukta had issued notices to the Chief Minister and others on the complaints. However, the Chief Minister had ordered an inquiry into the same complaints by a retired judge of the High Court.

Mr. Datta said since the Chief Minister himself is an accused, he cannot choose the investigation agency or the presiding officer to investigate cases against him. He urged the court to direct the State Government to allow the Lokayukta to go ahead with the investigation.

Justice B.S. Patil, before whom the case came up, noted that a public interest litigation (PIL) on a similar issue was pending before a Division Bench headed by the Chief Justice. He directed the Registry to place this case too before the Division Bench so that both the cases could be heard together.

Proceedings stayed

The High Court on Thursday stayed further proceedings against several followers of controversial Godman Nithyananda.

The Vidhana Soudha police had registered a case against several disciples of Nithyananda following a complaint against them by the godman's former driver, Lenin.

Lenin had claimed that some of the disciples had tried to disrupt a press conference in Bangalore, Moreover, they had also threatened him with dire consequences. Following Lenin's complaint, the Vidhana Soudha police had registered a First Information Report (FIR) against some of Nithyananda's disciples.

The Cubbon Park police had booked cases against the disciples for threatening Lenin. Justice V. Jaganatthan stayed further proceedings and adjourned further hearing of the case.

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