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State Government defends acquisition of land for Nagarjuna power plant High court round-up

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The State Government on Thursday defended the acquisition of land for the Nagarjuna power plant that is coming up near Mangalore.

Advocate-General Uday Holla, appearing for the State, said the land had been acquired for the project according to the law and denied any irregularity.

He made these submissions before a Division Bench comprising Justice K. Sreedhar Rao and Justice L. Narayanaswamy which is hearing appeals against acquisition of lands for the project.

The A-G recalled that initially the Government had proposed to sanction a 2000 Mega Watt (MW) power project. Subsequently, the State decided to permit two projects to come up each with a capacity of 1000 MW. While Cogentrix withdrew, Nagarjuna is in the process of setting up the project.

The Bench adjourned further hearing on the appeals to Monday.

In a related development, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice Rammohan Reddy admitted a public interest litigation (PIL) petition on the Nagarjuna power project.

The petitioners have contended that if the project was allowed to come up, it would affect the temples located adjacent to the project area.

The Bench adjourned further hearing on the case.

High Court Act

The Division Bench disposed of a petition by H.C. Shivaramu, a practising advocate of Bangalore, seeking a direction to the State Government to amend Section 4 of the Karnataka High Court Act 1961.

The petitioner contended that if Section 4 of the Act were to be amended, it would enable litigants to file appeals against a single judge order under Article 226 and 227 on matters relating to land reforms. Now, once a single judge passed an order, the litigant could only move the Supreme Court.

The Bench said it is of the view that it cannot issue a writ to compel the Government to amend the act. Enacting a law or amending it is the prerogative of the Legislature and it is for the Government to move he Legislature for such an amendment. It noted that the petitioner had already submitted a memorandum to the Government on the issue and said it had no reason to assume that the representation would not be considered.

Notice

The Bench directed the Government to file a statement to allegations made in a public interest litigation (PIL) petition that a KSRTC bus stand is coming up on a tank bed at Hassan.

The Chief Justice orally remarked that there is no water body in the vicinity and that he had gone to Hassan to inaugurate the new court building. He remarked that several houses had already come up behind the court buildings and asked the petitioner, K.T. Girish, how he could claim that there is a water body in the area.

The Bench directed the Government to file a statement and adjourned further hearing on the case to September 3.

Memo

A litigant, who had filed a document in the court, alleging that one of the sitting judges had obtained a site in Bangalore filed a memo seeking to withdraw the document.

The appellant, Shiva Kumar, had filed an interlocutary application (IA) in which he had annexed documents to show that a single judge who had upheld the acquisition of lands for Visvesvaraya Layout near Kengeri had himself purchased a site in Bangalore on Kanakapura Road.

The appellant filed a memo seeking to withdraw the annexure before a Division Bench headed by Justice Gopala Gowda which is hearing appeals against the single judge order on Visvesvaraya Layout.

The Bench asked the appellant to file an affidavit withdrawing the annexure and adjourned further hearing on the case.

Notice to BBMP, BDA

A Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice, Cyriac Joseph, and Justice Rammohan Reddy on Thursday ordered issue of notices to the Bruhut Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and other respondents on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by B.S. Madhusudhan.

The petitioner had sought a direction to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and the Bangalore Development Authority to provide basic infrastructural facilities to Vishwabharati House Building Cooperative Society Layout and also take steps to clear debris blocking access to the layout.

Admitted

A Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice, Cyriac Joseph, and Justice Rammohan Reddy on Thursday ordered issue of notices to the State and other respondents on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by the Go Rakshana Samithi of Mangalore.

The samithi said the pollution control board and other had failed to take action against a slaughter house which was polluting a river near Mangalore by discharging wastes.

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