To bring transparency in the process related to the formation of layouts by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the High Court of Karnataka has launched a suo motu PIL has requested the authority to upload a series of documents and details of all layouts on its website in a phased manner, starting with Arkavathi Layout.
A divisional bench consisting of Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty issued the order while deciding an appeal filed by the BDA challenging an order issued by a single judge on August 2, 2022.
The Single Judge had issued instructions to upload layout details during the hearing on motions filed by three site beneficiaries in Arkavathi Layout.
The petitioners had questioned the BDA’s decision to allocate alternative sites in the Nadaprabhu Kempegowda route by illegally and unilaterally using the registered sites in their favor in the Arkavathi route for road formation, citing a change in the layout design.
As the BDA in its appeal said the single judge had gone beyond the motions by issuing the order to upload the details, the divisional bench said it would deal with the case as a suo motu petition of the PIL while recalling that “the question raised by the single judge is of fundamental importance with regard to the transparency in the functioning of the BDA”.
“Needless to say, the BDA falls within the scope of the Right to Information Act 2005. Therefore, the BDA is required to maintain transparency in its operation and to host on the web all details of the layouts formed by it,” the Division Bench observed in its order while giving BDA 10 weeks to upload all the details of Arkavathi Layout.
Corner Site Auction
Meanwhile, the Divisional Bench amended the Single Judge’s May 31, 2022 Interim Order suspending the auction of the corner sites in the Arkavathi development and allowed the BDA to auction the sites after having reserved three sites for the applicants before the single judge.
Details for web hosting
The BDA shall upload to the website separately the total extent of the lands notified in the preliminary and final notifications, the lands denotified with the details of the reasons for the denotification and copies of the denotification together with the respective graphic description by overlaying it with village plan/Google Map/Revised Master Plan (RMP), etc.
The extent of land taken into possession with details of when possession was taken, with copies of notices of possession, mahazars and notifications of development projects under section 16(2) of the BDA Act 1976 must also be hosted on the web.
Even the details of the number of total land area surveys handed over to the engineering department, the total number of sites formed with measurements and the number of sites formed in each survey number along with the site numbers and their extent in every arrangement required to be made available to the public on the website.
Dispute details, if any, on land acquisition, with their investigation details and case status shall be uploaded and updated monthly to begin with, and later in real time, should be web -hosted.