The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) may have reassured the Arkavathy Layout allottees that it has not denotified any land acquired for the housing colony, but facts tell a different story. The BDA let go of about five acres in the last year.
Shortly after the revelation that the BDA is denotifying 105 sites in Arkavathy Layout, it has now emerged that the BDA Commissioner, T Sham Bhatt, issued a No Objection Certificates (NOC) for denotifying about five acres in three Survey Nos — 90/1, 90/2 and 110/3 — of Jakkur village in Yelahanka hobli of Bangalore North taluk in 2013.
On May 14, 2013, citing Supreme Court and High Court judgments, Bhatt issued the NOC to remove the land in the three survey numbers from being notified for the formation of Arkavathy Layout. All the three NOCs were issued the same day.
In his order, Bhatt said: “As per the High Court Writ Petition No 2624/2005 dated November 25, 2005; the Supreme Court order in the case 9232/2006 issued on August 25, 2006; the directions given by the Supreme Court in a Special Leave Petition (SLP) (Civil) 4097/2010 disposed of on May 5, 2010, and the government order No UDD/174/MNJ/2010, the BDA conducted a spot re-inspection of the land in question on February 12, 2013.
Subsequently, the matter was placed before the BDA board for approval, based on which the land belonging to Shamanna has been removed from the process of being notified for Arkavathy Layout.” The order was signed by the BDA commissioner himself. As per the NOC, one acre 32 guntas were denotified in Survey No 90/1, one acre 26 guntas in Survey No 90/2 and two acres five guntas in Survey No 110/3.
The Supreme Court, in the SLP (Civil) 4097/2010 (Bondu Ramaswamy vs State of Karnataka and others), observed: “If large areas are notified and then large extents are to be deleted, it breeds corruption and nepotism among officials. It also creates hostility, mutual distrust and disharmony among the villagers, dividing them on the lines of ‘those who can influence and get their lands deleted and those who cannot.’ Touts and middlemen flaunting political connections flourish, extracting money for getting lands deleted.”
A final notification for acquisition of the three survey numbers was issued in 2004 for formation of the layout. In 2013, the BDA entered into an agreement with the landowners — Appanna, Shamanna and Seeranna — in 40:60 ratio. Accordingly, they were given developed sites in the three survey numbers denotified by the BDA.
The landowners had themselves petitioned the BDA for denotification on May 9, 2013, four months after registering their sites in the three survey numbers. Later, their General Power of Attorney (GPA) holder, SVS Sudhir Babu, wrote a letter to the Principal Secretary of Urban Development Department, seeking denotification of the said land.
The Supreme Court, in the Bondu Ramaswamy case, had further said: “For the purpose of the said scheme, such petitioners will be deemed to have voluntarily surrendered the sites. The above scheme will be available only to the owners, as a consequence of execution of registered sale deeds in their favour prior to the date of preliminary notification (and not to GPA/agreement holders).”
As per other landowners who were allotted sites in the same survey numbers, the BDA registered eight sites in Survey No 90/2, 13 sites in Survey No 90/1 and 12 sites in Survey No 110/3 for the landowners in 40:60 ratio under the developed land sharing agreement.
But as the BDA commissioner issued the NOC in violation of rules and regulations after a final notification was issued for the said land, all the sites will now be lost.
Newly appointed BDA Chairman, S K Pattanayak, reacted thus to the allegation of denotification: “As and when the issues come to the board’s notice, we will take appropriate action.” Bhatt did not return this reporter’s phone calls, seeking his comments.