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Monday, July 15, 2024

Karnataka HC allows debt-ridden family to alienate land

Justice Krishna S Dixit passed the order recently while allowing a petition filed by a 72-year-old woman, her three sons and a daughter from Mathikere.Observing that a delay in payment of compensation to a debt-ridden family of five, three of them cancer patients and one a psychiatric patient, wouldamount to removing the ‘oxygen mask’ of a patient in the ICU, the Karnataka High Court permitted it to alienate or encumber 50 percent of its land marked for acquisition.

The court imposed a condition on the family that it should inform the intending buyers or lenders about the property being in the acquisition process by KIADB. The family should also inform the buyers/mortgages that they have the right to claim compensation after the acquisition process is completed.

Justice Krishna S Dixit passed the order recently while allowing a petition filed by a 72-year-old woman, her three sons and a daughter from Mathikere.Denying relief to terminally ailing citizens, especially when their property in question is the only means of holding the body and soul together by securing medical treatment, would render the constitutional guarantee to life a mere farce,” Justice Dixit said.

The mother is bedridden due to cancer. Even her two sons are suffering from cancer, and her other son is suffering from a mental disorder and is illiterate. One of the cancer-affected sons, who was taking care of the family, left home in May 2022 unable to bear the financial burden. The only daughter, who is living with her husband, is taking care of the family now and her family is also unable to bear the financial burden.

The mother purchased a piece of land at Yeshwantpur and a portion of it was rented out. To meet the expenses of one of her sons, who was seriously ill and was operated on in 2019, they had no option but to obtain a loan of Rs 53.42 lakh from a cooperative bank in Malleswaram. The instalments were being taken care of from the rent. However, due to Covid 19, the premises became vacant and the rental income stopped. Meanwhile, the bank seized the property.

On the other hand, KIADB issued a preliminary notification for acquisition of 2 acres and 30 guntas of land worth Rs 4.20 crore belonging to the petitioners at Hulikunte village in Doddaballapura taluk in 2021. The family requested early disbursal of at least 50% compensation. But KIADB did not consider it, stating that the acquisition process has not been completed.

Hence, in 2021, the family moved the court which directed the KIADB to consider its request. However, it was not considered by the KIADB.

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