New Delhi: In a relief to Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda, the Supreme Court today set aside a Karnataka High Court order quashing sanction granted to him and a BJP MLA to construct a five-storey building in Bengaluru. “Insofar as the present case is concerned, in spite of the clout that Sadananda Gowda may have wielded in Karnataka, his actions relating to the construction of the building on his plot of land do not suggest any abuse, as mentioned above,” a bench of justices Madan B Lokur and S A Bobde said. The apex court set aside the high court judgment quashing the orders sanctioning the building construction plans in favour of Gowda and BJP lawmaker D N Jeevaraj by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and had directed the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to take action against them for violating conditions in the lease-cum-sale agreement.
Granting relief to the leader, the bench said that it was difficult to assume that Gowda exercised his influence as chief minister to arm-twist the BBMP as since the inspection report was not entirely in his favour. Statutory bodies may be and are influenced by politicians, but “a lot depends on the facts of each case and the surrounding circumstances,” it said, adding that this was not the case here.
The court, in its 26-page judgement, said that there has been no violation of the lease-cum-sale agreement or the sanction plan for construction such as to violate the lease-cum-sale agreement with the BDA. “Undoubtedly, there are some deviations in the construction which will surely be taken care of by the BBMP which has categorically stated on affidavit that an occupancy certificate will be given only if the building constructed conforms to the sanctioned plan and the building bye-laws.
“In view of the above, we find no good reason to uphold the order passed by the high court allowing the writ petition and it is accordingly set aside,” the bench added. The apex court order came on appeals filed by Gowda and former Food and Civil Supplies Minister Jeevaraj against the 2012 high court judgement quashing the sanctioned plan of construction on the site.
The high court had given its verdict on a PIL filed by advocate Nagalakshmi Bai who had contended that the two had violated the lease-cum-sale agreement.