A land parcel handed over to the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) has been held valid by the Karnataka High Court as the division bench dismissed a petition filed by the owners over the acquisition back in 2010.

The original land owners contended that their land was two kilometres away from the project for which it was acquired and even though it was recommended for denotification by the PWD, it has been handed over to the beneficiary.

The Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) had acquired the land for construction of inter-change, ramp and service roads to the peripheral road built by NICE, an infrastructure company.

A single-judge bench had dismissed the challenge to the acquisition in 2010 which was challenged by the land owners, Sujatha Vijay and HV Vijayaraghavan, before the division bench of Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty.

Senior Advocate SS Nagananda appeared for appellants whereas Senior Advocates DLN Rao and Vikram Huilgol appeared for Respondents.

The counsel for the land owners submitted that "since a recommendation is already made for denotification of lands in question by the nodal agency (PWD), the project proponent cannot seek possession of the lands in question."

He also argued that "the adjacent lands belonging to important personalities have been denotified for which the beneficiary had given his consent and though this land is away from the project, the beneficiary/project proponent is seeking possession of the lands in question."

The disputed land is situated at Gottigere village, Bannerghatta Road in Bengaluru South taluk.

It was the specific case of the appellants (original land owners) that the lands in question are situated at a distance of about two km from the peripheral road and therefore, the lands in question are not required for the project. The court was told that that excess land has been acquired by the state to benefit respondent No.12 (NICE).

However, the division bench noted that the Chief Engineer of the PWD "has opined that lands in question are necessary for the purpose of the project and the proposed ramp passes through the lands in question."

In its judgement on January 3, the court said that "once the lands gets vested with the State, the question of restoring the said lands to the owner or the question of deleting the said land from acquisition proceedings does not arise and the same is not permissible in law."

The division bench dismissed the appeal stating that "in view of the foregoing analysis of the case, we are of the considered view that this intra-court appeal is devoid of any merit."

Cause Title- Sujatha Vijay & Anr. v. State of Karnataka & Ors.

Click here to read/download Judgment

With PTI Inputs