Wednesday, June 8, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Bangalore: HC Directs Criminal Action on Transfer of SC/ST Land

Wednesday, June 08, 2011 10:37:00 AM (IST)
Bangalore: HC Directs Criminal Action on Transfer of SC/ST Land

Bangalore, Jun 8 (DHNS): In what could be termed as a landmark
decision on restriction on transfer of certain lands, the High Court
of Karnataka on Tuesday ruled that criminal cases be booked against
persons intentionally selling land allotted to Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice H G
Ramesh said there had been an increase in the number of instances of
selling the land allotted to SC/STs, despite the knowledge of the bar
on sale of such land.

"The Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prohibition of
Transfer of Certain Lands) Act, 1978 imposes a ban on transfer of land
allotted to SC/STs. However, the allottees have been selling land
despite full knowledge of the law. They later give a statement before
the authority concerned that they were unaware of the restriction on
transfer and reclaim the land only to sell it to others," the Bench
noted. There had been a spurt in the number of victims approaching the
High Court after losing both land and money, it said.

The trail

Four acres of land was allotted to Cheluvaiah of Hunasur taluk (Mysore
district) in 1955.

After several transfers, Marideva Gowda purchased the land.
Cheluvaiah filed an application before the assistant commissioner (AC)
stating that he sold the land without the knowledge of restriction on
transfer, and sought re-possesion. The AC ruled in favour of
Cheluvaiah and on an appeal, the HC upheld the decision. Cheluvaiah
sold the same land to Somegowda, filed and application before the AC,

A single judge of the HC endorsed the AC's ruling. The matter was
again challenged before the Division Bench. It allowed the purchaser
to demand repayment of the sale money from Cheluvaiah with interest.

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