Fencing of land near Lalitha Mahal Helipad
Mysuru: Following reports that a gate has sprung up overnight at Lalitha Mahal Helipad area, where a board has also been installed which read “This land is the private property of P.D. Wadiyar and legal action will be initiated against anyone found trespassing or conducting unauthorised transactions- Palace Estate Officer- Mysuru,” member of erstwhile Mysore royal family Pramoda Devi Wadiyar has clarified on the issue.
Addressing a press meet at Mysore Palace yesterday, Pramoda Devi Wadiyar said that some persons have misunderstood the purpose of erecting the gate and installation of a board near Lalitha Mahal Helipad. Asserting that the gate has been erected on the path leading to the helipad as part of securing her property following a High Court order, she said that no fencing has been done on the path. But as some persons are indulged in a misinformation campaign, she was forced to issue the clarification.
Pointing out that as per an agreement between the then Union Government and the Mysuru Maharajas in 1950, a huge area of landed properties was given to the Mysore royal family, Pramoda Devi said that, however, trouble started in 2010 when the then Mysuru DC Harsh Gupta declared that land coming under Kurubarahalli Survey No.4, Alanahalli Survey No.41 and Chowdahalli Survey No.39 was ‘B Kharab’ Land, meaning Government Land.
Later, the Government directed for resolution of the dispute at the DC’s Court, following which the then DC P.S. Vastrad scrutinised all the land records and declared that the landed properties were the private properties of Mysore Maharajas. But sometime later, Vastrad withdrew his own order.
Thereafter, subsequent to a Government direction, the then DC C. Shikha started a fresh hearing into the dispute, following which Shikha declared that the land is ‘B Kharab,’ (Government land). Left with no other option, she moved the High Court in 2015 questioning the decision of Shikha.
The HC which heard the case, ruled on June.19, 2020 that the land coming under Kurubarahalli Survey No. 4, Alanahalli Survey No. 41 and Chowdahalli Survey No. 39 is not ‘B Kharab’ and that the land belonged to the Mysore royal family.
The Government has not moved the Court seeking review of the order for the past six months. But in the meantime, some persons are making attempts to encroach the landed properties by erecting fences and installing boards. As such, they (royal family) installed a gate at the helipad entrance as a security measure against encroachments, Pramoda Devi said and added that some persons were engaged in spreading false information that no vehicles are allowed inside the helipad and that the gate has been locked.
Maintaining that she does not have any intention of blocking entry to the helipad, she said that there is enough space for movement of vehicles and anyone can enter the helipad. She reiterated that she will not place any hurdles for using of the helipad.
The Present Government is neutral
Referring to other properties of the royal family, Pramoda Devi alleged that officials were hesitant to issue Khatas even though the Court has ruled in their (royal family) favour. Stating that the royal family collectively had 1,500 acres of land in the three survey numbers (Alanahalli Survey No.41, Kurubarahalli Survey No.4 and Chowdahalli Survey No.39) when the agreement was reached between the Government of India and the Mysore Maharajas in 1950, she said that even Government of India official too in 1972 has ordered that the land belonged to Mysore royal family. But land encroachments have taken place and she is yet to ascertain the quantum of lands that have been encroached over the years, she said.
“Some persons have built homes and other buildings on the land. I wonder who gave them the license to build structures. The Revenue Department officials should survey our landed properties and mark them,” she urged.
Replying to a question on Government’s attitude towards the royal family, she said that while some Governments put more hurdles, a few others gave little trouble. But the present Government has remained neutral and there is no trouble from the Government side. However, the royal family faced trouble when the first BJP Government was in power over a decade ago, she noted.
Replying to a question on her entry to politics, Pramoda Devi said that the royal family was facing cases pertaining to landed properties and added that administration was an easy job for her. It is more apt to say that she does not suit to politics, she said.
Pramoda Devi’s Personal Secretary Lakshminarayan was present at the press meet.
It may be mentioned here that Star of Mysore’s sister concern Mysooru Mithra had carried a report on April.27, 2014, titled ‘Wadiyar’s landed properties worth Rs.100 crore grabbed.’
The report said that 7.5 acres of land in front of Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel worth about Rs.100 crore belonging to late Mysore royal family scion Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar had been allegedly grabbed by a Bengaluru-based person. The matter came to light when B.N. Nagendra, an RTI activist, sought records pertaining to the said land, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
About 15 acres of land (6,53,400 Sq.ft) in Nazarbad Mohalla coming under Kurubarahalli Survey No.4 belonged to late Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar. But one V.C. Venkatesh, a resident of No.11, first main, 8th cross, Bapujinagar, Bengaluru is alleged to have got 7.5 acres of land (3,26,700 Sq.ft) registered in his name through a gift deed on May.8, 2013, for which Venkatesh is said to have paid a total of Rs. 22,88,050, including Rs.22,86,990 as registration fee, Rs.565 as service charge, Rs.500 as submission fee and Rs.35 as verification fee, at the Sub-Registrar’s (East) Office the same day (May.8, 2013). Besides, Venkatesh paid Rs.1,28,06,640 as Stamp Duty through a DD issued by ICICI Bank. Taking all this into account, Venkatesh paid just Rs.1,50,94,690 to the Government for ‘gift’ of this land, which is worth about Rs.100 crore. The then Sub-Registrar (East) did the registration taking into consideration the ‘Gift Deed’ that had the ‘left thumb impression’ and signature of Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, for which P. Pandian and Ravikumar of Bengaluru were witnesses.
The records obtained through RTI said that Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar had signed the ‘Gift Deed’. It said that he (Srikantadatta Wadiyar) was donating the said land to Venkatesh as he was very close to his family.
Following the registration, the MCC too fixed Property Tax for 7 acres, 20 guntas of land in Nazarbad coming under Kurubarahalli Survey No.4, at Rs. 5,45,976 from 2006 to 2013. Subsequently, Venkatesh paid the Property Tax at MCC Zonal Office-9 on May.15, 2013.
The question then was how the Sub-Registrar’s Office did the registration when the State Government had ordered a total ban on any land transactions and issuance of Sale Deed, Title Deed registration, Khata transfer and other land records in respect of Kurubarahalli Survey No.4 lands and how the MCC had blindly fixed Property Tax for the said landed property.