Bangalore: Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj has returned an amendment Bill seeking to grant government land in rural areas to those who had unauthorisedly occupied it and built dwelling units prior to January 1 this year, saying it may lead to illegal grabbing.
Bhardwaj returned the Karnataka Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill, submitted by the BJP government for his assent, for reconsideration of both Houses of the state legislature.
"The amendment Bill does not specifically prohibit grant/regularisation of common land. This amendment does not serve any public good or social cause. On the other hand, it may lead to illegal grabbing of government land and may cause inroads into rule of law", a Raj Bhavan communique said on Monday.
HR Bhardwaj expressed the view that the policy of regularisation of encroached government land directly encourages illegal occupation.
The Governor drew the government's attention to the report of a taskforce which in its 2011 report highlighted that over 11 lakh acres of government land had been illegally occupied.
He also pointed out that the Joint Legislature Committee on land grabbing and encroachments had also observed "because of the inaction of the government to let go the crooked land-grabbers, real estate agents and their daring abettors, ordinary citizens have come to lose faith in government and administration."
The Governor expressed the view that the policy of regularisation of encroached government land directly encourages illegal occupation of government land.
"This amendment will cause severe inroads into the lofty principles such as rule of law, equality before law, due process, majesty of law, dignity of courts, inalienable fundamental rights, directive principles, etc. which are enshrined in the Constitution", he said.
The Bill extending the period till January, 2012 had given scope for further illegal occupation of government land, the Governor said adding that in the larger interest of the public, illegal occupation of government land has to be curbed".