Illegal constructions are a sad reality of not just our city, but also our country. With a rapid growth in urban population, there is an increasing demand for housing options across cities. In Bengaluru, like most Indian metropolitan cities, this uncontrollable demand in the real estate sector has led to unlawful constructions. Several builders are blatantly flouting the law of the land by not regularizing their constructions.
In view of the above, the Karnataka State Government introduced the Akrama Sakrama scheme to ensure regularization of unauthorized building and layout schemes. The scheme enables the owners of plots and flats in Bengaluru to regularize their buildings by paying a penalty. Passed in 2013, it came into force on March 23, 2015. The government gave citizens a year’s time to fill up and submit the Akrama Sakrama application form. However, the response to this scheme from most citizens of Bengaluru has not been good.
Namma Bengaluru Foundation and its Founder Trustee MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar believe that the scheme is a flawed one, which allows the government was more actively rewarding the culture of corruption. The scheme appears to have been designed to bail out builders, the rich and powerful from their illegalities who, instead of being punished under law, are benefiting financially.
In light of the above, NBF and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP, filed a Public Interest Litigation on April 4, 2015 in the Karnataka High Court for the following reasons:
Periodical Regularisation of unauthorised construction incentivises people to flout norms.
Unplanned development will lead to congestion and unsustainable growth of the city.
The scheme does not penalize the builders who put up such construction in violations of the existing laws
State of Karnataka
Urban Development Department
Directorate of Town and Country Planning
The Prayer Sought
- Set aside the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Regularisation of unauthorised Development or Constructions) Rules, 2014 for being violative of Article 14 & 21 of the Constitution
- Set aside the Karnataka Town and Country Planning and certain other Laws (Amendment) Act, 2013 as being ultra vires the Constitution.
- Set aside the Karnataka Town and Country Planning and Certain Other Laws (Amendment) Act, 2009, dated August 27, 2013 produced at as being ultra vires the Constitution.
- Set aside the Karnataka Town and Country Planning and Certain Other Laws (Amendment) Act, 2004 dated February 06, 2007 produced at as being ultra vires the Constitution.
- Pass such other orders and further orders as may be deemed necessary in the facts and in the circumstances of the case.
The Supreme Court on January 13, 2017, admitted the petition against the December 13, 2016 verdict of the Karnataka High Court, which upheld the scheme. Further, the Hon’ble Court granted interim protection that no applications made under the Akrama Sakrama scheme shall be processed, therefore in effect granting a complete stay on the operation of the scheme until the appeal is heard by the court. The bench also declined the request of the state government, which had entered a caveat to expedite the hearing. The SLP has been converted to a civil appeal and will be heard in due course of time.