The Karnataka High Court on March 15 has directed the deputy commissioner of Shivamogga to complete the mutation of 1,08,747.35 hectares of forest land expeditiously.
The court gave the order while hearing a writ petition filed by social activist Gireesh Achar which mentioned that in respect of Shivamogga district circle the total notified forest area is 3,61,229.86 hectares of which the total area mutated in the RTC is 2,52,482.51 hectares. However, 1,08,747.35 hectares of the forest land was yet to be mutated. The petitioner said the Bhadravathi forest division and Shivamogga forest division of the district should file an appeal against the illegal grant of forest land in respect of mutation in Shivamogga circle.
However, the court dismissed the petition on the ground stating, “There is nothing on record to indicate that some grants have been made regarding the forest lands and in respect of which mutation, proceedings are pending in Shivamogga circle. Only vague assertions have been made on the basis of which we cannot drive our conclusions regarding illegality, if any, committed in granting such grants.”
“The writ petition is accordingly dismissed. However, with the observation that the authorities concerned shall take all appropriate steps to complete the mutation proceedings with respect to the forest land of Shivamogga circle in accordance with law expeditiously,” the order read.
Virendra Patil, the lawyer representing the petitioner, said, “In order to mutate the 1,08,747.35 hectares of land the revenue department has to cancel all the grants it made. Without canceling the grants the mutation is not possible. Thousands of hectares of the forest land have been granted to people. In Sagar forest division itself, 3,928 grants have been made.”