The high court on Monday ordered notice to the government, BDA, BWSSB and Bescom with regard to a public interest litigation questioning the Bangalore Development Authority (Amendment) Act, 2020.
A division bench headed by chief justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka also ordered notice to the advocate-general as constitutional validity of the new amendment has been challenged. According to petitioner KB Vijaya Kumar, a city-based RTI activist and advocate, the new amendment gazetted on October 19 is a ploy to protect illegal buildings and structures from the purview of the all-encompassing Supreme Court order in 2009 vis-a-vis demolition of illegal buildings and the recent high court ruling on the same premise.
He has said implementation of the orders was halted by the advent of Covid-19 and the government is now trying to take advantage of the lull. He claimed BDA has no legal authority to regularise illegal buildings constructed without approval by a competent authority and without permission for construction, as such layouts have been handed over/transferred to BBMP control and only it can sanction building plans and permit construction of such transferred layouts.L COMMENTSADD COMMENT
There was undue haste in amending the BDA Act and declaring that such regularisation is only for buildings constructed 12 years before the Amendment came into effect. “The illegal aspect cannot be washed away by bringing it into a time frame. What is illegal can never be legal by payment of paltry penalties,” he added.
Further, he pointed out that the government/BDA action in trying to regularise illegal possession of government/BDA land and including in its ambit illegally constructed structures will encourage illegal possession of government lands in the hope of regularisation at a later date. This is tantamount to penalising honest citizens who have paid exorbitant prices to purchase land from the open market or even from BDA formulated layouts, he said.