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HomeNewsReal EstateRegularize structures followed bylaws, Not to be Demolished-Karnataka HC

Regularize structures followed bylaws, Not to be Demolished-Karnataka HC

The court said the authorities should first check if the construction violated any building bylaws before ordering the demolition.

A structure cannot be ordered to be demolished by the BBMP simply because it lacks a building plan sanction, the High Court of Karnataka said.

The civic body has to first consider if there is any violation of building bylaws and then pass the necessary orders, Justice Suraj Govindaraj said disposing of a batch of petitions filed by plot owners in Remco layout.

The petitioners own residential plots in Remco (BHEL) Cooperative Housing Society formed in 1992. They challenged an order dated September 4, 2017, which held that the AC sheet houses they constructed were unauthorised since they had not obtained plan sanction. The order further said that action would be taken to demolish the sheds.

The petitioners contended that some people (Mirle Vardaraj, his relative Manjunath and others) were trying to take possession of their properties in collusion with some land owners and BBMP officers. Though the khata cancellation order issued by the BBMP was quashed by the high court, the authorities had not restored the same and, on that basis, refused the plan sanction submitted. The petitioners claimed that they had no option but to build compound walls and AC sheet sheds to prevent encroachment.

After examining the provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act and the BBMP Act, Justice Govindaraj said that merely stating that the construction is illegal, without giving the details and extent of the illegality, would not comply with Section 321(1) of the KMC Act, which applied to Bengaluru, or under the present Section 248 (1) of the BBMP Act 2020.

The HC said the authorities should first check if the construction violated any building bylaws before ordering demolition. If the construction did not violate or deviate from bylaws, the BBMP should enable the regularisation of the building after collecting the necessary fees and also issue the necessary building/sanction plan, the court said. Also, property tax must be collected from the owners with a penalty from the date on which the construction was made without obtaining the plan sanction.

‘Initiate inquiry’

The court directed the BBMP chief commissioner to take action regarding the allegation of collusion between BBMP officials and private parties. “The officers of the corporation or the corporation itself cannot be treated as a pawn or a stooge of private parties and act on their behalf. A statutory organisation like the BBMP has been established to serve the interests of the citizens in general and not a few powerful persons. The corporation officials are required to act in accordance with the law, failing which the law will have to take necessary steps to bring such officers in conformity with the law,” the court said, directing the chief commissioner to file an inquiry report within 90 days.


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