New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on the plea by Union Law Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and former Karnataka civil supplies minister D.N. Jeevaraj challenging the Karnataka High Court order directing the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to take back possession of two plots allotted hem for violating the lease's terms and conditions.
A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice S.A. Bobde reserved the order as counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for respondent K.G. Nagalaxmi Bai, on whose PIL the high court order came, told the court that it was case of powerful and influential people wilfully doing things which would not have been permitted in the case of a common man.
The high court had by its October 19, 2012, order directed the BDA to take action against Gowda and Jeevaraj for constructing one amalgamated building on two adjacent plots allotted to them instead of separate residential structure as per the terms and conditions of the lease agreement.
It had also quashed the building plans sanctioned by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) favouring them.
Gowda was allotted the plot on October 20, 2006 when he was deputy leader of opposition in Karnataka assembly.
The high court order, on a PIL by Nagalaxmi Bai, was stayed by the apex court in 2013.
Pointing to the clout that Sadananda Gowda enjoyed in the state and could get away with every bending of the rules, Bhushan said that Gowda was BJP's state unit president when B.S. Yedduyurappa was the chief minister and everyone knew that he was going to succeed Yedduyurappa when the latter stepped down in the wake of alleged graft charges.
Taking the court through the sequence of events, Bhushan told the court that Gowda violated every term of the lease agreement but kept making false statements before the court.
"They did not go to the court with clean hands.. they could not have gone, as they were already soiled," he said.
Appearing for Gowda, senior counsel Basava Prabhu Patil took the court through some dates to demonstrate that had his client been paddling influence, things would not have taken that long.
Addressing the allegations that political clout of Gowda played in his favour, Basava Patil decried the contention that a persons should be held guilty merely because he is "politician and influential" even if he has not violated any rules.
Appearing for Jeevaraj, senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina said that even if there was any violation of the building plans then it was entirely for the authorities to take a call and issue notice and not for the court to step in.
He said that apex court has said that courts can't get involved in alleged violation of building plans but only authorities can, and the high court was totally obsessed with Gowda and Jeevaraj's plan to construct an amalgamated building on two adjacent plot allotted to them.