Nandanavana ViewHere is a good news to all those poor farmers and NRI Investors: Land grabbers, many of whom went scotfree all this while, may now end up behind bars for laying their hands on prime government land.The jinxed A T Ramaswamy committee report on encroachments will come to life again.

An exclusive Act to deal with land grabbing and establish a special court to prosecute violators is on the anvil. The Karnataka Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Bill 2007, that's awaiting the President's nod, is expected to get through by October.

What's more, a task force has been set up to prevent encroachments. The body headed by retired IAS officer V Balasubramanian was approved by a government order on September 19. The entire state will fall under its jurisdiction.

To begin with, the task force will commission a survey of government lands in Karnataka, barring Bangalore. For Bangalore Urban, the data collected by the former joint legislature committee on encroachments, headed by Ramaswamy, will be used.

"We had the first meeting today (Tuesday) and I will write to all the deputy commissioners of districts to send me a report on the status of government lands. Since Bangalore data is available, action will be taken against land grabbers. With the formation of a special court to look into such cases, the punishment will be stringent," Balasubramanian said.

SPEEDY TRIAL


One of the landmark provisions of the Bill is the setting up of a special fast-track court to try cases of government land encroachment. With a deadline of six months to dispose of a case, the court will be headed by a retired high court or Supreme Court judge. All criminal and civil cases relating to government land encroachments pending in other courts will be transferred to the special court. The accused can be sent o jail for a period of three years.
Source:Times of India