HC stays govt land grant to caste, religious groups

The High Court of Karnataka has stayed a state government order that granted 78 acres of forest land in Bengaluru North taluk to various caste-based and religious organisations.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice H G Ramesh and Justice P S Dinesh Kumar passed an interim order on a petition filed by A Krishna Swamy, a retired IFS officer, for quashing of the order issued by the state government on December 18, 2017.

The petitioner also urged the court to order the government to hand over the entire extent of forest land in survey number 81 of Machohalli village to the Forest Department. The bench issued an emergent notice to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and a notice to the state government.

According to the petitioner, 78 out of 96 acres in Machohalli village, Dasanapura hobli, Bengaluru North taluk, has been reserved for public purposes. Schools have come up on 52 acres while the rest of the land belongs to the Forest Department. But the state government issued a notification, sanctioning the land to various organisations.

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