The Karnataka High Court recently quashed the allotment of a plot of land to a trust, represented by its president Gayathri, who is the wife of BJP MP Umesh G Jadhav.
A Division Bench of then Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum said that there was favoritism in the allotment of land to Murthy Charitable Trust and the prescribed procedure was not followed.
"However, in the present case favoritism has been done by the Karnataka Housing Board to the trust without following the prescribed procedure. Therefore, the initial allotment as well as the sale deed dated July 28, 2020 deserves to be set aside," the court ordered.
The court emphasised that State instrumentality is bound to follow a transparent procedure while leasing or disposing of public property.
"Fairness, in the action of the State or local bodies or instrumentalities of the State while leasing out / disposing any public property is a sine qua non. The State and the instrumentality of the State are required to follow a transparent procedure. The statutory provisions as contained under the Act and the Regulations are required to be followed," the order said.
The verdict was passed on a public interest litigation petition filed by one Adinarayanashetty challenging the allotment deed to Murthy Charitable Trust.
It was pointed out that a civic amenity was allotted by the Karnataka Housing Board (KHB) to the Trust on August 23, 2004 with specific conditions.
The court also imposed Rs 1 lakh as costs on the KHB, which has to be paid to the Karnataka Advocate Clerks Association within a month.