Encroachment: Plea seeks action against Bopaiah, 68 others

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday sought a response from the State government on an allegation made in a public interest litigation petition that the Forest Department had not taken any action against 68 persons, including K.G. Bopaiah, MLA, who have encroached reserve forest lands in Kodagu district and put up illegal constructions.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Krishna S. Dixit adjourned further hearing till August 8 on the petition filed by Cauvery Sene of Madikeri in Kodagu district.

The petitioner claimed that the Forest Department, in its information furnished to the petitioner under the Right to Information Act, had disclosed that 68 persons encroached reserve forest lands in survey number 289 of Karnamgeri village of Madikeri hobli. However, the department had not taken any action to clear the encroachments.

It has been alleged that they were supported by the tahsildars and Revenue Department officials by issuing Saguvali chits, Krishi passbooks, and Patta books, and making illegal entries in the revenue record. The petitioner claimed that Mr. Bopaiah had built a huge bungalow on 20 cents of land, and information furnished by the Madikeri municipal authorities under the RTI revealed that he had obtained khata for the same. The petitioner claimed that municipal authorities had said they had no document of granting approval for the construction of the bungalow.

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