SC decides land dispute in favour of University of Mysore

New Delhi: The Supreme Court yesterday decided a dispute over eight acres of land in favour of University of Mysore (UoM), holding that the University is in its lawful possession. The judgment was pronounced by a two-Judge Bench comprising Justice N.V. Ramana Reddy and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer.

The matter pertained to donation of about 22 acres of land by the Maharaja of Mysuru out of 1,600 acres to the President of India for starting Logopedics Institute in 1965. However, in 1974, Rajaiah and Nanjaiah, having been in possession of the land as cultivators since 1950, applied for registration of eight acres of land situated at Kurubarahalli village, Mysuru taluk, after enactment of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961.

Rajaiah and Nanjaiah, in 2004, had approached the High Court in this regard and the HC, after the hearing, had pronounced the judgement in their favour following which the Mysore University had knocked the doors of the Supreme Court.

In the 1960s, a portion of the land belonging to University of Mysore was handed over to All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH) in exchange for a piece of land parcel at the foot of Chamundi Hill as directed by the President of India. As the land was not suitable for AIISH, the University of Mysore and AIISH entered into an agreement and the University of Mysore gave a portion of land near the University to AIISH and took possession of the land at the foot of Chamundi Hill.

In its judgement, a Bench of Justices set aside the orders passed by the Karnataka High Court in 1998 and 2000.

“The HC was not justified in holding that the private respondents are in possession of the lands in question. They do not have title or (neither) are (they) in possession of the said land,” the Bench said.

The Court relied upon an order passed by the Assistant Commissioner on January 20, 2012, clearly showing that the University was in possession of the said land.

The Apex Court directed the High Court to dispose of expeditiously a writ petition by the private parties against the order. The Court also directed Mysuru trial Court to quickly decide the criminal case filed against private parties for allegedly creating “bogus” documents.

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