By: Express News Service
Date: January 10th 2016
Source: New Indian Express
BENGALURU: The state government on Saturday was urged to set up special courts, envisaged in the Karnataka Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, and bring the offenders to book without any further delay.
Freedom fighter H S Doreswamy said that with the unearthing of the grabbing of large tracts of revenue land by a House committee of the Assembly, he said, “The government should not waste any more time to set up the special courts.”
Maintaining that the President gave his assent last October for the Bill which was passed in both Houses, he expressed anguish over the government not implementing it.
Referring to the Koliwad Committee report, he said, “It was established beyond any doubt that powerful people are behind grabbing government land.” Setting January 18 as the deadline to announce the decision to set up the special courts, he said, “If the government fails to respond to our demand, I will have no option but to lead an agitation.”
Former JD(S) MLA A T Ramaswamy, who headed a House committee in 2007 to probe the land grabbing issue, recalled, “When I submitted the report, the extent of revenue land encroached was over 2,000 acres. Had the governments in the past taken preventive action, the additional land grabbing of over 2,000 acres could have been prevented, he added.
Provisions of the Act
Special courts can be established to try cases of land grabbing. Law will help in curbing organised attempt to grab land belonging to Wakf/Hindu religious institutions, charitable endowments and local authorities or those bodies controlled or managed by the state government.
Guilty can be slapped with a fine up to rS 25,000 with imprisonment for a term of not less than one year.
Government also can confiscate the assets of the convicted and recover the encroached portion of land.
The special courts will have both civil and criminal jurisdiction and complete trials within six months.
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