Bangalore: The Karnataka Assembly on Friday
passed a bill prohibiting grabbing of government land and up
to three years jail for offenders.
The bill provides for measures to curb organised attempts
to grab lands belonging to the Government, Wakf or the Hindu
religious institutions and charitable endowments, local
authorities or other statutory or non-statutory bodies owned
or controlled or managed by the Government.
According to the Karnataka Land Grabbing Prohibition Bill,
2011, the Government may, for the purpose of providing speedy
enquiry into any alleged act of land grabbing, and trial of
cases, by notification, constitute a special court.
Official sources said tens of thousands of such pieces of
land had been grabbed in different parts of the state.
The final report of the Joint Legislature Committee on
encroachment of government land in Bangalore Urban district
headed by former MLA A T Ramaswamy stated that 45,000 acres of
land worth a whopping Rs 50,000 crore had been grabbed.
With this law, land grabbing in any form is prohibited
and declared unlawful.
Those who contravene provisions of the act - as also those
who commit other offences in connection with land grabbing -
shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term
which shall not be less than one year, but which may extend to
three years, and with fine which may extend to Rs 25,000.
Piloting the bill, Urban Development and Law Minister S
Suresh Kumar said the state had passed the Karnataka Land
Grabbing (Prohibition) Bill 2007, but the Union Government
suggested inclusion of lands belonging to Wakfs, Hindu
Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments also - and
they were incorporated in the present bill.
According to the bill, land grabbers are forming bogus
cooperative housing societies or setting up fictitious claims
and indulging in large-scale, unprecedented and fraudulent
sale of such lands through unscrupulous real estate dealers or
otherwise in favour of certain sections of people resulting in
large accumulation of unaccounted wealth and quick money to
In the legislative measure, the land grabber was defined
as a person or a group of persons, society, builder, land
developer who commits/has committed land grabbing.
It includes any person who gives financial aid to any
person for taking illegal possession of lands or for
construction of unauthorised structures thereon, or who
collects or attempts to collect from any occupiers of such
lands rent, compensation and other charges by criminal
intimidation, or who abets the doing of any of the above
mentioned acts; and also includes the successors in interest.