M.G. Road vegetable market is on private land
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M.G. Road vegetable market is on private land

December 8, 2023
  • Owner wins Court case; MCC must relocate market
  • 2-acre land was purchased in IT auction for Rs. 92,800 in 1994

Mysore/Mysuru: The Principal District and Sessions Court, Mysuru, has delivered a landmark verdict affirming the private ownership of the two-acre vegetable market land on M.G. Road.

In the light of this legal decision, it is now imperative for the authorities to initiate necessary measures for the relocation of the vegetable market to an alternative location. The ruling was given by the then Principal Sessions Court Judge G.S. Sangreshi, who currently holds the position of State Legal Secretary at Bengaluru. With the Court  ruling, it becomes imperative for the authorities to invariably shift the vegetable market to some other location.

The property, acquired in 1994 for a sum of Rs. 92,800, is confirmed to be under the ownership of N. Vijaykumar, a resident of Domlur in Bengaluru.

Judge Sangreshi emphasised that Vijaykumar holds absolute rights over the land, and the legitimacy of his ownership cannot be contested by the State Government or any other Governmental agency.

Case details

The erstwhile royal family of Mysore owns the Garikemaala land extending up to 145 acres and 13 guntas. When D. Devaraj Urs was the Chief Minister, 80 acres of land was acquired by the Government and it shifted the Dasara Exhibition from J.K. Grounds to the Garikemaala land and handed over the 80-acre land to the possession of Karnataka Exhibition Authority.

A significant turn of events occurred when Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, a member of the royal family, faced tax liabilities with the Income Tax Department. As part of the resolution, and with the approval of Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, the Income Tax Department auctioned a two-acre portion of the land, which is presently occupied by the M.G. Road vegetable market.

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Auction on May 27, 1994

The auction, conducted on May 27, 1994, resulted in the legal purchase of the two-acre land by Vijaykumar of Domlur for a sum of Rs. 92,800. Following the successful bid, the Income Tax Department formally handed over the sale deed (certificate) to Vijaykumar, thereby establishing his rightful ownership of the property.

However, the Karnataka Exhibition Authority claimed ownership of the entire 145.13-acre land. This issue reached the Court. After hearing the case and arguments, Principal Sessions Court judge Sangreshi delivered the verdict on Oct. 22 and said that the Karnataka Exhibition Authority owns only the 80-acre land.

Arguing for petitioner Vijaykumar, Advocate O. Sham Bhat quoted a High Court order and said that the Karnataka Exhibition Authority only owned 80-acre land while the remaining 145.13-acre land is owned by the erstwhile Mysore royal family.

As per Constitutional provisions

The Court accepted this argument, noting that the Income Tax Department had auctioned the two-acre land to recover tax dues from Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar. Citing Article 363 of the Constitution of India, the Court affirmed Vijaykumar as the absolute owner of the two-acre land, and the ownership could not be contested by the State Government or its agencies.

Moreover, the Court ruled similarly in the case of the property purchased from the royal family by Mysuru hotelier Dharmaprakash. Representing Dharmaprakash, Advocate Sham Bhat argued that the Karnataka Exhibition Authority had no rights over the property, as it belonged to the royal family.

The Court upheld this argument, stating that as the royal family had legally sold the land to Dharmaprakash, he now holds absolute ownership of the properties in question.

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Battle next in HC

We will challenge the verdict delivered by Principal District and Sessions Court in the High Court. We have already spoken to Advocate Shankar, representing the Karnataka Exhibition Authority (KEA) and he will procure the copies to go on appeal. The verdict will be challenged.” — Rajesh G. Gowda, CEO, KEA

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