In an order passed on 20th March the Division bench of the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka comprising Chief Justice Waghela and Justice Rammohan Reddy passed orders staying implementation of the Akrama Sakrama scheme seeking to regularize illegal constructions all over Karnataka.
The relief was given in a case brought by Citizens Action Forum challenging the law.
A similar case had also been filed by the Citizens Forum of Mangalore also asking for a stay on the same matter. The key demands from the petitioners included separating zoning violations from other types of violations, block regularization of illegal commercial structures and have a mechanism in place for punishment of the officials who allowed the violations to go on so that they will never repeat the apathy again.
But citizens who want to file applications for regularisation can still go ahead.
However Government has been prohibited from taking any steps to process these applications.
The next hearing of the case is on April 15.
In the meantime, the urban development department has uploaded the applications on its website http://uddkar.gov.in and asked property owners to submit filled forms to the urban local bodies concerned. The scheme gives a one-year window to property owners to apply for regularisation.
The prescribed limits for regularization of setback and floor area violations are less than 50% in case of residential buildings and 25% in case of non-residential buildings. The scheme is applicable to all layouts and buildings that came up before October 19, 2013. The application has three parts: for regularisation of sites in an un-authorised sub-divided land/layout; regularisation of buildings with land use violations; and regularisation of unapproved and non-violated development/unapproved and violated development/approved and violated development. Property owners are supposed to fill relevant portions in the form. The last date for submission of application is March 22, 2016.
The Akrama Sakrama trap
There is a peculiar feature in the present status of the Akrama Sakrama scheme which potential applicants may be ignorant of.
Filling in an application for regularisation is tantamount to confessing to breaking the law – without the amnesty operational.
Any individuals or organizations can file RTI applications at both BDA and BBMP for details on land use regularization applications filed and building plan violations and then petition for action against these specific establishments on the ground that their applications now amount to self incrimination.