Governor H R Bhardwaj on Wednesday returned the Karnataka Land Revenue (Second Amendment) Bill, 2012 , passed by both the Houses of the legislature in last days of BJP tenure.
The legislation was brought by inserting new section 94CC in the act with the intention of regularizing unauthorized occupation of revenue land belonging to government areas with dwelling houses constructed prior to January 1, 2012 by granting the land to unauthorized occupants after payment of small amount of fee.
Justifying the decision to return the bill, governor has said “The policy of regularization of encroachment of government land directly encourages illegal occupation of government land. This amendment will cause severe inroads into the lofty principles such as rule of law, equality before law, due to process, majesty of law, dignity of courts, inalienable fundamental rights, directive principles etc, which are enshrined in the constitution,” he said. He added that in the larger interest of the public, illegal occupation of government land has to be curbed.
Referring to Task Force for Protection of public lands headed by V Balasubramanian, Joint Legislature Committee constituted to go into the deadline of the problem of land grabbing and encroachments and also Supreme Court judgment in the case of Jaspal Singh Vs State of Punjab in January 2011, Bhardwaj in a strongly worded observation has said the amendment bill does not specifically prohibit grant/regularization of common land. “This amendment does not serve any public good or social cause, on the other hand it may lead to illegal grabbing of government land.”
Governor also observed that similar act was passed in April 1998 of regularizing the unauthorized occupation as a one time measure. “However it is not known why such lands under unauthorized occupation made prior to April 1998 could not be granted till now.”
Source: The Times of India, Bangalore