BBMP can’t probe complaints on encroachment, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate
BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) does not have power or the authority to inquire into an allegation of encroachment made by a party, the high court has ruled. The agency, however, will have jurisdiction to probe whether the construction being put up is in accordance with the plan sanction it had accorded.
“The BBMP will have jurisdiction to investigate whether the construction is in accordance with the plan sanction, which can be done without reference to any particular encroachment of the property,” Justice Suraj Govindaraj said.
Emerald Haven Development Limited, a Chennai-based company, had constructed 18 floors, excluding the basement floor, at Basapura village, Begur, Bengaluru South taluk, after obtaining a plan sanction in their 4-acre land.
However, on September 14, 2023, the assistant director, BBMP town planning (south), issued a notice to the firm stating that there is a complaint given by Kavitha Vishwanath claiming encroachment of 1 acre of land belonging to her by the petitioner and demanded that the firm furnish all necessary documents.
Challenging the same, the firm filed a petition before the high court, arguing that the land was purchased in 2019 and after obtaining sanction plan from the BBMP, the same was subjected to the provisions of Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and construction commenced thereon.
According to the petitioner, Kavitha, who was a GPA holder of the earlier owner, filed a suit after they commenced construction, claiming to be absolute owner of the portion of the property alleging encroachment, and the same is pending before a civil court. The company argued that BBMP does not have the power to adjudicate with regards to allegation of encroachment and the same would fall in the domain of a civil court.
Kavitha submitted that she is the owner of 3 acres 30 guntas land and that an error crept in during re-numbering of the properties. She claimed that there is false information provided with regards to identity, location, boundaries and measurement of the property. She added that a representation was submitted to the BBMP for cancelling the sanction plan granted to the company.
Justice Govindaraj pointed out that BBMP is not a judicial authority which can conduct an inquiry into disputed questions of facts. “Any aspect as regards the encroachment per se would not be an aspect which comes within the preview of BBMP. However, in the event of there being a violation of the plan sanction i.e., to say that there is a deviation therefrom and excess construction is carried out, an irrespective of whether there is an encroachment or not in so far as the deviation from the plan, BBMP would have jurisdiction,” the judge said, while quashing the proceedings pending before BBMP.
However, the company is bound to any orders to be passed by the civil court in the pending litigation.