R.F.A. filed U
/ S . 96 of the CPC., against the Judgment and Decree dated 30-07-1984 , passed Additional
City Civil Judge, Bangalore, dismissing the suit for permanent injunction etc.,
* The select portion of Judgement which Highlights about the Uprightness and Microscopic examination of every case by this Hon'ble Judge: as a model Judgement of His.
With due apologies to Shakespeare and in particular the passage from Hamlet, that "Something is rotten in the kingdom of Denmark " , one needs to observe after a review of the litigation relating to land acquisition in and around the City of Bangalore as also in other similar areas that one needs to similarly observe that "something is rotten in the State of Karnataka " . This is an obvious under-statement because this litigation throw up some absolutely alarming and shocking facts, the first of them being that on a conservative estimate something like one hundred crores worth of public property which has been paid for out of the public exchequer and contributed to by the tax payer is in the hands of unauthorized occupants . The fact that through political maneuvering each successive Government has been gifting away this property by successive processes of regularization only adds to the magnitude of the illegality and seeks to demonstrate how generously politicians, when they are in power, distribute largesse in the form of public property and thereby totally destroy any possibility of enforcement of Town Planning Schemes or, planned development of these areas . What also emerges is the fact that it exposes corruption levels of unprecedented dimensions on the part of Officials manning the public bodies notably the B.D.A. who are directly responsible for two forms of corruption, the first being that when the process of acquisition is completely paid for out of public funds these officers do not perform their functions of clearing the land of all unauthorized persons at that point of time and it is impossible to accept, given present property prices that his is a case of mere negligence, the irresistible inference is that it is a combination of corruption and criminal negligence for which unfortunately, thee officials who have made enough money for their life time in stead of being dismissed from service, are not only retained until superannuating but are there after looked after for life on public pensions . The Courts are choked with thousand of cases wherein it is demonstrated that after the process of acquisition is complete, even n those cases where the lands are free of encroachers that a large number of unauthorized persons thereafter occupy the land, trade in it and sell it along with immovable structures of various types including multi-storeyed buildings and this Court can only observe with a degree of distress that all these activities bear the un-mistake ble stamp of not only collusion but active partnership of the concerned authorities . The rot does not end there because on occasion, some semblance of enforcement of the law through shadow boxing takes place and the unauthorised occupant resorts to the us already of applying to the Civil Court for a stay order which his readily granted by the court on the basis of the hackneyed and specious argument that unless such interim relief is granted, the suit would be rendered in fruotuous. Unfortunately, despite observations from the High Court and the Supreme Court that such stay orders against public authorities should not be loosely and indiscriminately granted unless a very valid and cogent case is made out, the trial Court's have been justifiably found fault with for granting such stay orders and injection . The correct approach ought to be that if the suit is devoid of substance that it must be dismissed outright instead of adding dead wood tot he backlog and multiplying the problem by passing interim orders. The real tragedy of the matter arises from the fact that this Court has found that the litigation is never conducted properly on behalf of the public authorities of the state, that it is allowed to drag on and that in 80% of the cases the wrong - doer succeeds by default because of bad pleadings on the part of the public authority and equally worst and negligent conduct of the case . One begins to wonder as to whether there is a degree of collusion even at this level because even in those cases where the plaint is thoroughly devoid of any merit interim orders are allowed to continue forever a decade and valuable time of the Court is lost by having to try cases which ought to have been dismissed at the very inception . It is very necessary therefore that the State Government, the chairman of the B.D.A. and the bead of the Bangalroe Municipal Corporation should seriously look into these aspects of the matter and the same applies to all the other urban areas in the State of Karnataka.
(2) Having recorded the enormous magnitude of the case which has not only reached epidemic proportions but has turned cancerous and virtually malignant, the question arises as to what is that role of the Courts in such a situation. Unfortunately, when an encroacher or a trespasser or an illegal occupant continues for a period of time because of a judicial order the wrong signals are sent out and an impression is created in the public mind that the Courts are protecting such illegal activities. An impression is now current that there is an absolute license to encroach upon public property and that once a litigation in started, it will provide a insurance to continue for life because an analysis of the forty thousand cases pending under this head in the Civil Courts and a lightly number in the High Court will indicate that after losing in the first round the matter goes in appeal and after losing there, it is the started on some other ground or in another Court and continues merrily .. The real difficulty that the Courts often face is that with a degree of ingenuity, often by suppressing vital facts a court is made to believe that a genuine case has been made out and the real tragedy of the matter is that the public authority against whom the order is directed rarely bothers to get the order vacated or to have the proceeding dismissed after pointing out the correct facts . It should therefore be an inflexible rule with the courts at all levels that even if a prima facie case has been made out, that interim relief granted should not be for a duration of more than two weeks and if the applicant does not effect service on the authority within this period the order must stand vacated . Once the service is effected, the authority must be directed to place the correct facts before the Court within a prescribed period of time. The normal practice followed in such cases is that either the lawyer representing the authority is absent or if he is present, unending number of adjournments are asked for on the ground that the reply is not ready so that by default the interim order can be confirmed and there are instances when such consent is given or, better still, cases in which the reply filed fully supports the opposite party . In situations like this, it is the court that is virtually rendered helpless and unjustifiably, the system gets a bad name. It is high time that this situation be over-hauled.