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On Denying TDR Certificates To Landowners: ‘Reflects Mindset Of East India Company Era’: Karnataka High Court

Last Updated on March 17, 2023 by Administrator

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) was recently slammed by the Karnataka High Court for failing to issue the Transferable Development Rights (TDR) that was promised to landowners when their properties were purchased for public use.

Facts– The petitioners’ lands were purchased so that Marenahalli’s roads could be widened. They gave up their lands after being promised the issuing of TDR certificates in exchange for them, and they did so in accordance with the regulations.  On March 17, 2022, the BDA issued an order that refused the certifications. The petitioners went to court as a result of this.

Arguments

Petitioner: The petitioners’ legal representative claimed that the BDA’s order violated Section 14B of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act. He claimed that each petitioner had received an individual Hakku Patra (a letter of claim), and that the refusal of a TDR certificate was invalid when the patras were turned in without payment. Furthermore, he said that the State could not have treated the petitioners unfairly and that its actions drastically fell short of the standards of justice that were expected of it.

Respondent: The respondents, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and BDA, argued that the grant of TDR is governed by a statutory program and that a claim for TDR certificates cannot be made unless the rules of the scheme are fully followed. They requested that the writ petition be dismissed on the grounds that the petitioners were not the land’s owners.

Judgement

The Court concluded that the BDA’s arguments were unpersuasive because it was observed that the State government had given BDA permission to issue the hakku patras. 

It was stated that Article 300A of the Constitution still upholds the right to property as a fundamental promise, and that this guarantee extends to a far greater set of rights, including an interest in property other than that of ownership. The Court held that the BDA had not provided sufficient evidence to support its decision to deny the petitioner a TDR certificate, and it declared that this effectively denied their claim for compensation, despite the fact that they had already paid for the land title deed.  It stated that it would not be scientific if the government unlawfully acquired private property for development projects and refused to allow TDR. 

As a result, the Court approved the petitions and overturned the BDA order from March 17, 2022, which had rejected the BBMP’s recommendation to grant the petitioners TDR certificates.

It mandated that the petitioners receive TDR certificates from the BDA and that BDA must report to the Registrar General within three months on the High Court order’s compliance.

The BDA Commissioner was ordered to punish the petitioner $1,000 per day if the court order was not followed promptly.

Case Title: Jayamma and Ors. Vs. State of Karnataka and Ors.

Advocate BS Sachin for BDA, Advocate Chaithravati for BBMP, AG Advocate Srinivasa Gowda for State and Senior Advocate DL Jagadeesh along with advocate Leela P appeared for petitioners.

Written by: Srijan Raj

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