Final PIL Masterplan
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Transcript of Final PIL Masterplan
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BANGALORE
WRIT PETITION NO.__________ / 2008 (PIL)
BETWEEN: 1. Citizens’ Action Forum #31/1, 1st Floor M.K. Puttalingaiah Road
Padmanabhanagara Bangalore 560 070 Represented by its Secretary Lt. Col Mathew Thomas (Retd.)
2. Lt. Col. Mathew Thomas (Retd)
s/o Late Shri T P John Age: 70 years
Secretary Citizens’ Action Forum #30/1, 1st Floor
M. K. Puttalingaiah Road Padmanabhanagara Bangalore 560 070
3. Sadashivanagar Residents Welfare Association No. 457, 11th Main Road, R.M.V.Extension, Sadashivanagar, Bangalore 560 080. Represented by its Honorary Secretary Mr. B.K.Jagadishchandra, IFS (Retd.)
4. Mr. B.K.Jagadischandra Secretary, SRWA Age 69 years S/o Late Shri. B.N. Kappanna 438, 11th Main Road, R.M.V.Extension Sadashivanagar, Bangalore 560 080 5. Maj. Gen. M.K. Paul (Retd.) AVSM,
s/o Late Mr. Nripendra Kishore Paul. Aged 74 years, Past President, Defence Colony Residents Association, “Devalaya”, 3rd Main Road, Defence Colony, Bangalore 560 038.
6. Mr. Xerxes Desai,
s/o Mr. Sapue Desai, Aged 71 years, Retd. Chief Executive, Titan Group of Companies and President, Defence Colony Residents Association, 41, 4th Main, 3rd Cross, Defence Colony, Indiranagar, Bangalore 560 038
7. Air Vice-Marshal (Retd.) S. Krishnaswamy AVSM, s/o Late Mr. K.R. Srinivasan, Aged 77 years, Retired Senior IAF Officer, A1, “Vijayasrinivas”, 218, 3rd Main, Defence Colony, Indiranagar, Bangalore 560 038.
8. Mr. J.R. Kapur,
s/o Mr. N.D. Kapur, Aged 80 years, Former General Manager, HAL, 2973, 5th Cross, 13th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560 008.
9. Gp. Capt. K. Bhaskaran,
S/o Late Mr. Kunhambu, Aged 76 years, Retired Senior Air Force Officer, Former President, HAL 2nd Stage Civic Amenities and Cultural Association, 3019, 12-B Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560 008.
10. Mr. S. Shyam Sundar, IFS (Retd.),
S/o Mr. S. Venkata Rao, Aged 76 years, Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of Karnataka, and former President, HAL 2nd Stage Civic Amenities and Cultural Association, 2989/D, 12th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560 008.
11. Mr. P.P.R. Nair,
S/o late Mr. K.K.R. Panicker, Aged 72 years, Former Special Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, 3367/B, 13th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560 008.
12. Mr. S.N.S. Murthy IPS (Retd.),
s/o Late Mr. S. Narayana Rao, Aged 72 years, Former DG & IGP, Karnataka State and Former President, HAL 2nd Stage Civic Amenities and Cultural Association, No. 3367/C, 13th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560 008.
13. Dr. B.R. Pai,
s/o Late Mr. Rama Bhaskar Pai, Aged 63 years, Former Director, National Aerospace Laboratories, 1078, 12th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560 008.
14. Dr. R. Balasubramaniam, s/o Late Dr. K. Ramakrishna Iyer, Aged 64 years, Director and Scientific Adviser, National Aerospace Laboratories (Retd.) 808, “Mayurapriya”, 7th Main, 1st Cross, HAL 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560 008.
15. Mr. Kumar Ranganathan,
s/o Cdr. T.V. Ranganathan, Aged 40 years, Senior Manager, Intel Corpn., 15, Defence Colony, Indiranagar, Bangalore 560 038.
16. Mr. S. Janardhan,
s/o Late Mr. Subramanian Seshadri, aged 75 Years, Formerly Scientist at National Aerospace Laboratories,Bangalore (1960 to 1991) and Chief Moderator for National Computing Centre,UK (1991 - 1999) 1196, 13th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560 008.
17. Mr. Ravindranath Guru,
s/o late Mr. Maheshchander Guru, Age: 64 years, 593, DUNDUBHI. 24th Cross, BSK II Stage, Bangalore – 560 070 ………. PETITIONERS
AND: 1. State of Karnataka Department of Urban Development M.S. Building Bangalore – 560 001 Represented by its Secretary 2. Bangalore Development Authority T. Chowdaiah Road Kumara Park West Bangalore – 560 020 Represented by its Commissioner 3. Bangalore Metropolitan Regional Development Authority No.1, Ali Askar Road
Bangalore 560 052 Represented by its Commissioner ....… RESPONDENTS
MEMORANDUM OF WRIT PETITION UNDER ARTICLES 226 & 227 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
The Petitioners above named beg to submit as follows –
1. The first Petitioner is a registered society having its office at #31/1, 1st Floor,
M.K. Puttalingaiah Road, Padmanabhanagara, Bangalore. All the members of
the Petitioner are public spirited citizens and the Petitioner’s main objectives,
inte ralia, include working towards participation of the Citizens’ in
Governance, proper disclosure norms for the Government and having absolute
transparency and accountability in Urban Governance with primary focus on
Civic issues. More than 20 resident welfare associations spread all over the
city, viz., Koramangala Initiative, Kumara Park West Resident’s Welfare
Association, Banashankari 1st Stage Resident’s Welfare Association etc. along
with several citizens’ federations are members of the Petitioner. A copy of the
Certificate of Registration of the Petitioner society, the Memorandum and
Articles of Association and Rules and regulations of the Petitioner and the
names of its members are produced herewith and collectively marked
ANNEXURE ‘A’. The second Petitioner is the Secretary of the first Petitioner
Society and a citizen of India.
2. The third Petitioner is a registered society having its office at # No. 457, 11th
Main Road, R.M.V.Extension, Sadashivanagar, Bangalore 560 080.. All the
members of the Petitioner are public spirited citizens. The third Petitioner has
been for last 18 years rendering yeoman services to the Sadashivanagar
community. It has been instrumental in developing and maintaining the Low
Level Park in Sadashivanagar which is an outstanding example of public
private partnership. Rupees 70.00(seventy) lakhs has been spent in the park for
providing a jogging and walking track, children play equipment and water
fountain and water cascade. It is the only “Pay and Use” Park in Bangalore.
The entire amount of Rs.70.00 lacs has been raised from the residents of
Sadashivanagar and donations from benefactors. Further, Sadashivanagar
Association has played a prominent role in motivating and influencing civic
agencies like BBMP, BWSSB, BESCOM, traffic police and other agencies to
yearly implement projects and programmes for improving the civic amenities
in the area and for ensuring efficient traffic regulations and management. A
copy of the Certificate of Registration of the Petitioner society, the
Memorandum and Articles of Association and Rules and regulations of the
Petitioner and the names of its members are produced herewith and
collectively marked ANNEXURE ‘B’. The fourth Petitioner is the Honorary
Secretary of the fourth Petitioner Society and a citizen of India.
3. Petitioners 5 to 17 are distinguished citizens from various walks of life, and are
public spirited individuals who have involved themselves in matters of local
4. Section 25 of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 1961
(hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) stipulates revision of Comprehensive
Development Plan at least once in 10 years from the date on which the last
Comprehensive Development Plan has come into force. Accordingly, the
existing Master Plan for the Bangalore Metropolitan Area namely Revised
Comprehensive Development Plan 1995 approved vide Govt. Order dated
05.01.1995 was required to be revised since the currency of the Master Plan
was due to expire.
5. The second Respondent - BDA, purportedly acting as the designated Planning
Authority, formulated a Revised Master Plan 2015, which was approved and
confirmed by the first Respondent vide its order No. UDD 540 BEM AA SE
2004, Bangalore dated 25.06.2007. The Petitioners are filing this petition in
public interest to redress the approval granted by the first Respondent to the
Revised Master Plan 2015 (hereinafter referred to as “the RMP”) for the
Bangalore Metropolitan Region (hereinafter referred to as “the BMR”)
formulated by the second Respondent, particularly on account of the second
Respondent over-reaching its powers in formulating the RMP, the non-
exercise of powers by the third Respondent and non-consideration of citizens’
feedback and expert opinion reflected in the PSS Thomas Committee Report
that has directly affected the rights of the citizens and residents of Bangalore,
as shall be detailed hereinafter.
6. For the purposes of this petition, it is relevant to trace the circumstances under
which the third Respondent came to be constituted and also peruse the hitherto
statutory situation prior to the constitution of the third Respondent as the prime
Authority for the planning, co-ordinating and supervising the proper and
orderly development of the area within the Bangalore Metropolitan Region.
Urban planning in Bangalore is largely governed by the Act. The Act aims to
provide for the regulation of land use development and for the making and
execution of town planning schemes in the State of Karnataka. In order to
ensure that town-planning schemes are made in a proper manner and their
execution is made effective, the Act provides for declaration of “local planning
areas” and a “local authority” to prepare a development plan for the entire local
planning area falling within its jurisdiction. The preparation of the Master Plan
is vested with the Planning Authority constituted under Section 4 of the Act.
The Bangalore Development Authority (hereinafter referred to as “BDA”) is
the Planning Authority for the local planning area comprising the city of
Bangalore. However this has undergone a change with the enactment of the
Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority Act, 1985 (hereinafter
“the BMRDA Act”).
7. Given that Bangalore is the capital city of Karnataka and over the past two
decades has emerged as the hub of information technology, biotechnology,
commerce and other areas, great concern and interest has been shown by the
State Government for its planned development. As the State Government felt
that there was no proper coordination among the local bodies like the BDA, the
Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (hereinafter referred to as
“BWSSB”), the Karnataka Electricity Board (hereinafter referred to as
“KEB”), and the Corporation etc. within the Bangalore Metropolitan Area, it
decided to set up the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority
under a separate legislation.
8. The BMRDA Act, 1985 was, inter alia, enacted in order to constitute an
Authority to co-ordinate the activities of the local bodies like BDA, BWSSB,
KEB, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (hereinafter referred to as
“KSRTC”), Karnataka Slum Clearance Board, Bangalore City Corporation
(hereinafter referred to as “BMP”), etc., in the Bangalore Metropolitan Area,
especially in view of the growing problems of unplanned development,
housing etc. The preamble to the Act itself is categorical in this regard and
reads as under –
“An act to provide for the establishment of an authority for the
purpose of planning, coordinating and supervising the proper and
orderly development of the area within the Bangalore
Metropolitan Region and to provide for matters connected
Whereas, it is expedient to provide for the establishment of an
authority for the purposes of planning, co-ordinating and
supervising the proper and orderly development of the area within
the Bangalore Metropolitan Region and to provide for matters
9. Thus, the third Respondent BMRDA came to be constituted under the
BMRDA Act and is the Authority within the meaning of Section 2(a) thereof.
For the purposes of the BMRDA Act, the terms ‘Bangalore Metropolitan
Region’ and ‘Local authority’ are defined in section 2(c) and 2(j) and read as
“2(c) “Bangalore Metropolitan Region” means the area
comprising the Bangalore District and Malur Taluk of Kolar
District and such other areas as the State Government may, from
time to time, by notification, specify;
“2(j) “local authority” means the City of Bangalore municipal
Corporation, the Bangalore Development Authority, the Bangalore
Water Supply and Sewerage Board, a Zilla Parishad, a Municipal
Council, a Sanitary Board, the Karnataka Electricity Board, the
Karnataka Road Transport Corporation, a Zilla Parishad, a
Municipal Council, a Sanitary Board, or a Mandal Panchayat
constituted or continued under any law for the time being in
10. The functions to be discharged by the third Respondent and the powers vested
in it are enumerated in Section 9 of the BMRDA which reads as under:
“9. Powers and functions of the Authority:- (1) Subject to the
provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder the functions
of the Authority shall be-
(i) to carry out a survey of the Bangalore Metropolitan Region and
prepare reports on the surveys so carried out;
(ii) to prepare a structure plan for the development of the
Bangalore Metropolitan Region;
(iii) to cause to be carried out such works as are contemplated in
the structure plan
(iv) to formulate as many schemes as are necessary for
implementing the structure plan of the Bangalore Metropolitan
(v) to secure and co-ordinate execution of the town planning
scheme and the development of the Bangalore Metropolitan
Region in accordance with the said schemes;
(vi) to raise finance for any project or scheme for the development
of the Bangalore Metropolitan Region and to extend assistance to
the local authorities in the Region for the execution of such project
(vii) to do such other acts and things as may be entrusted by the
Government or as may be necessary for, or incidental or
conducive to, and matters which are necessary for furtherance of
the objects for which the Authority is constituted;
(viii) to entrust to any local authority the work of execution of any
development plan or town planning scheme;
(ix) to Co-ordinate the activities of the Bangalore Development
Authority, the corporation of the city of Bangalore, the Bangalore
Water supply and Sewerage Board, the Karnataka Slum
Clearance Board, the Karnataka Electricity Board, the Karnataka
Industrial Areas Development Board, the Karnataka State Road
Transport Corporation and such other bodies as are connected
with development activities in the Bangalore Metropolitan
11. A perusal of the powers and functions conferred under Section 9 of the
BMRDA Act makes it clear that the range and sweep of the powers are such
that the BMRDA is vested with the power to formulate as many schemes as are
necessary for implementing the structure plan for the BMR and to do all such
acts that may be entrusted by the Government or which may be necessary or
incidental to further the object for which the authority is constituted. Section 9
(ii) empowers the third Respondent to prepare a structure plan for the
development of the Bangalore Metropolitan Region and (iii) to cause to be
carried out such works as are contemplated in the structure plan”. The Master
Plan is the next and consequential step after a structural plan is prepared and it
comes within the sweep of Section 9(iv) and 9(vii) which provides for
formulating schemes necessary for implementing the structure plan for the
region and which also authorizes the Authority to do such acts as are necessary
or incidental or conducive to matters necessary for furthering the objects for
which the Authorities are constituted. Section 9 (viii) empowers the Authority
to entrust the execution of any developmental plan or scheme to any local
12. Further, section 10 of the BMRDA Act lays down that no person or Authority
shall undertake any development in the Region which may be specified by
issuing a notification in the Gazette, without its prior permission. Section 18 of
the BMRDA Act enjoins the Authority with a power to issue directions. It
reads as under:
“18. Directions by the Authority. (1) The Authority may, in order
to carry out the development plans and schemes formulated under
Section 9 or any town planning scheme may issue direction to the
Bangalore Development Authority, Bangalore Water Supply and
Sewerage Board, Karnataka Electricity Board and such other
bodies as are connected with developmental activities in the
Bangalore Metropolitan Region. The directions issued by the
Authority shall prevail over any directions issued by the Bangalore
Development Authority under Section 53 of the Bangalore
Development Authority Act, 1976 (Karnataka Act 12 of 1976).
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the
time being in force, every such direction shall be complied with by
the body to whom it is issued On failure, it shall be competent for
the Authority to take necessary action to carry out the directions
issued under Sub-section (1) and recover expenses, if any, incurred
thereof from the body concerned.
(3) Any dispute which arises between the Authority and the Boards
or other bodies referred to in Sub-section (1) in respect of the
directions issued to them shall be determined by the State
Government whose decision shall be final.”
13. As per Section 28 of the BMRDA Act, the provisions of Act shall override
other laws and reads as under:
“28. Act to override other laws.- the provisions of this Act shall
have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith
contained in any other law for the time being in force.”
14. Thus, as per the provisions of the BMRDA Act, it is the primary responsibility
of the third Respondent to bring out a comprehensive development plan as also
to carry out these works, including the supervision and co-ordination of any
development activities carried out by the local authorities including those
undertaken by the second Respondent. It is the paramount task of the third
Respondent to not only bring out requisite schemes and plans of development
for the BMR, but also actively keep the local authorities, viz., the second
Respondent in check and ensure that any and all development activity taken in
respect of the BMR is in accordance with the provisions of the BMRDA Act,
and the rules framed therein and is in line with the object of planned
development. The powers and functions of the BMRDA, examined in the
background of the object for which the Authority was constituted have
overriding effect over the provisions of Section 9 of the Town and Country
Planning Act, wherein the local planning authorities established for the areas
falling within the metropolitan Region are conferred with the powers and
duties to prepare the Mater Plan. Since the enactment of the BMRDA Act, the
special powers for the formulation of a development plan/schemes, if any
granted to the local planning authority- the second Respondent in case of the
BMR, is subject to the powers and sanction of the third authority.
15. In this regard, the Act has been suitably amended with the introduction of
Section 81-C, which reads as under:
“81-C. outline development plan and comprehensive
development plan of Bangalore Metropolitan Region.—
Notwithstanding anything in this Act, the Planning Authorities
within the Bangalore Metropolitan Region as defined in the
Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority Act, 1985
shall submit the outline development plans and comprehensive
development plans under sections 9 to the State Government
through the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development
Authority for approval and the said Authority shall exercise the
powers and discharge the functions of the Director of Town
Planning in respect of such outline development plans or
comprehensive development plans. The provisions of sections 9
and 19 shall mutatis mutandis be applicable for the purpose of this
Thus, any development plan or scheme formulated by the second Respondent
has to be approved by the third Respondent and must be in consonance with
the directions issued by the third Respondent.
16. The second Respondent purportedly in its capacity as the Designated Planning
Authority undertook the task of revising the Comprehensive Development Plan
1995 and submitted a draft Master Plan to the State Government under letter
dated 18.12.2004, which the Government then accorded approval to publish
the same under Government Order dated 10.06.2005. The said draft Master
Plan was prepared by the second Respondent enlisting the help of a French
consultancy firm, M/s. SCE. The Draft Master Plan was published vide
Notification No.BDA/TPM/RCDP/1137/2005-06 dated 22.06.2005, inviting
objections/suggestions from the general public. Despite the short response
period given to the citizens for their feedback, the second Respondent received
approximately around 7,200 objections. Subsequently, an officially constituted
Review Committee of experts, headed by Mr. P.S.S. Thomas, I.A.S (Retd.),
Advisor, Planning Commission was appointed vide Government order dated
21.06.2005, to interact with the public and also to give their own
recommendations. The Review Committee, interacted with several Residents’
Welfare Associations and NGOs, studied in great detail the implications of the
draft master plan and submitted its recommendations. A copy of the said
Committee Report is produced herewith marked ANNEXURE ‘C’
17. The Committee’s report had several reservations about the Draft Master Plan
and disagreed with proposals of the Draft Master Plan, inter alia, regarding the
proposed zonal regulations, introduction of mixed residential areas under the
guise of development of commercial space, designation of main corridors and
even main roads in residential areas as commercial axes, mutation corridors in
mainly residential areas, Zoning of Transformation Zones etc. leading to
automatic regularization of violations etc. Much to the surprise of the citizens
of Bangalore, most of these recommendations were not considered and
blatantly overlooked by the second Respondent. An extract of the Committee’s
recommendations compared with the implementation of these
recommendations in the Revised Master Plan 2015 is produced herewith
marked ANNEXURE ‘D’.
18. In an exercise that turned out to be a mere eye-wash, in that the said
recommendations are largely ignored. The third Respondent vide its letter
dated 07.02.2007 sent the Draft Master Plan back to the second Respondent
rejecting some proposals with its suggestions and recommendations. A copy of
the said letter is produced herewith marked ANNEXURE ‘E’. This in turn
resulted in the constitution of a Core Group, vide Government order dated
09.03.2007, under the chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary and
Principal Secretary, Energy Department and Administrator, Bruhath Bangalore
Mahanagara Palike to furnish recommendations to the Government. A copy of
order is produced herewith marked ANNEXURE ‘F’. The Core Group made
some suggestions have been ignored, which is apparent from the Vision
Document and Zonal Regulations.
19. Vide letter dated 22.06.2007 issued by the Principal Secretary to the State
Government to the BDA appears to have sought changes to the Revised Master
Plan. Without even considering the contents of the letter issued, the second
Respondent replied to the said letter on 23.06.2007, the very next day with the
false assurance that the changes sought were incorporated. Subsequently, the
first Respondent approved the Revised Master Plan despite the fact that the
second Respondent had not taken into consideration the ground realities of the
city, the recommendations of the Committee, the recommendations of the third
Respondent, and the genuine grievances and reactions of the citizens of
Bangalore. The original order approving the Revised Master Plan, 2015 is
produced herewith marked ANNEXURE ‘G’.
20. The Petitioners submit that the first Respondent has failed its citizens by
illegally directing the third Respondent to approve the master plan when the
second Respondent has failed to incorporate the suggestions and
recommendations of the expert committee, the third Respondent, the Advisory
Committee and the citizens. Though the preparation of the Master Plan is
vested with the Planning Authority – the second Respondent in case of
Bangalore, constituted under section 4 of the Karnataka Town and Country
Planning Act, 1961, in so far as the developmental activities coming within the
jurisdiction of BMRDA, it is the third Respondent as the Authority which is
competent to exercise these powers. The third Respondent has abdicated its
functions and duties under the BMRDA Act, frustrating the very object of its
enactment. The second Respondent is outside its powers in formulating a
revised master plan for the BMR, when there is a specific authority constituted
for this purpose. In any case, the second Respondent can only carry out the
instructions handed to it by the third Respondent.
21. The Petitioner submits that the Revised Master Plan, 2015 has been formulated
in a mechanical manner with non application of mind, apart from the fact the
said plan violates the letter and spirit of the Act.
22. The Revised Master Plan, 2015 has been formulated by the second Respondent
without affording the citizens of Bangalore an opportunity to appraise the Plan
and is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. The second Respondent has
not taken into consideration the needs of the citizens and is not in the best
interests of the citizens of Bangalore. It is the resident citizen whose interests
should always be at the centre of any development plan. The revised master
plan has ignored the interests of the resident citizen however is an
acknowledgement of all the violations that have taken place in the past several
years and merely attempts to legalise and further perpetuate the chaos created
by land use violations in residential areas, valley areas and green belt areas.
Worse, it has added complicated classifications like Mutation Corridors,
Transformation / Development Area, Commercial Axes running right through
predominantly residential areas, High tech. Zones, and so on. If this did not
create sufficient complication, the plan also envisages further Ancillary
activities in residential areas, which are nothing short of free for all
commercial activities, not necessarily adding to the quality of the resident’s
23. The Expert Committee constituted by the Government of Karnataka to
appraise the Revised Mater Plan, 2015 has taken objection to several proposals
in the development plan. The third Respondent has also raised several concerns
and has even rejected certain proposals about the Plan. The first Petitioner has
filed objections in response to the second Respondent inviting objections in
respect of the Revised Master Plan, 2015. A copy of the objections filed by the
Petitioner is produced herewith marked ANNEXURE ‘H’. The Petitioner
society had even organized a panel discussion on the ‘Revised Master plan-
2015 for Bangalore & Building Bye-Law & Land Use Zoning Violations
Regularization Act’ on 19.09.2007 at the Institute of Agricultural
Technologists, Bangalore providing a common platform for the Government,
the representatives of the Expert Committee, the BDA and other municipal
bodies and other leaders to interact with the citizens of Bangalore and arrive at
practical solutions in this regard. A copy of the invitation to this panel
discussion and other such representations / programmes etc. are
compendiously produced herewith marked ANNEXURE ‘J’. Sadly, though
there was an overwhelming participation of citizens and eminent panelists,
representatives of the Respondents failed to utilize this opportunity and did not
attend the discussion despite having tentatively agreed to attend the same. The
first Petitioner has made a detailed representation dated 5.12.2007 to the
Governor of Karnataka supported by over 2,000 signatures of residents of
Bangalore and public-spirited associations, and copy thereof is produced
herewith marked ANNEXURE ‘K’. The Petitioners, in order avoid burdening
the record of this Hon’ble Court are not filing the said documents and
undertakes to produce copies of the said documents as and when directed by
this Hon’ble Court. The Petitioner has also been constrained to make
applications under the Right to Information Act to obtain relevant information /
documents before approaching this Hon’ble Court and a copy thereof is
produced herewith marked ANNEXURE ‘L’.
24. Further, a perusal of the Minutes of the Cabinet Meeting approving the Plan,
produced herewith marked ANNEXURE ‘M’ would disclose that the second
Respondent has paid no heed to the objections raised by the Expert Committee,
the third Respondent, Petitioner or any other aggrieved citizens and has
mechanically forwarded the Revised Master Plan to the first Respondent for
approval. As such, the second Respondent has hopelessly failed in its role as a
planning authority and has acted in violation of the principles of natural justice
as well as in violation of the law. The State Government has also mechanically
granted approval to the Plan without considering interests of the citizens.
25. A comparative table between the BMRDA / Thomas Committee
recommendations and the actual Plan, disclosing the glaring and inherent
deficiencies and illegalities in the Revised Master Plan, is produced herewith
marked ANNEXURE N. The Petitioner craves leave to rely upon the contents
of the Annexures at the time of hearing.
26. There are glaring differences between the Draft Master Plan which was
published by the second Respondent inviting public opinion and expert
opinion and the Revised Master Plan which it has finally approved. Drastic
changes have been brought about in the zoning regulations without assigning
any rationale and which were not originally contemplated in the Draft Master
Plan, and the same reeks of arbitrariness. Further, the very exercise of
publicizing the draft plan and inviting expert and public opinion was redundant
and mere eyewash, if the third Respondent did not intend to heed any of the
suggestions. A table enumerating the changes introduced by the BDA to the
Revised Master Plan, which were not proposed in the Draft Master Plan and
are otherwise squarely opposed to the objections of the citizens as well the
recommendations of the Committee is produced herein as ANNEXURE ‘P’.
27. Vide its order dated 11.02.1988, the Government of Karnataka had accepted
the recommendations of the Lakshman Rau Committee constituted for the
preservation, restoration or otherwise of existing tanks in the Metropolitan area
of Bangalore City, clearly stipulating that any tank bed- used or unused,
drainage areas and natural valleys must not be diverted for use as housing
layouts. Thus, valleys, natural drains, tank bed areas and disused tank beds
have been declared protected areas in light of environmental concerns in line
with the said expert committee report. A copy of the Gazette Notification of
the order along with the Expert committee report is produced herewith marked
ANNEXURE ‘Q’. The Draft Master Plan had in fact demarcated such areas as
‘Protected Land’. However, in the Final Revised Master Plan, these spaces
have been depicted as ‘built up’ and demarcated for ‘residential’ use in total
disregard to the above said order. Instances of these violations are produced
herewith marked ANNEXURE ‘R’.
28. The original Master Plan is produced herewith marked ANNEXURE ‘S’.
29. The Petitioners submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has repeatedly
held that planned development, protection of the environment and safe and
healthy atmosphere for comfortable living cannot be achieved unless the
Authorities invested with the powers act with vision for the future and take
preventive actions curbing unplanned and indiscriminate growth of the region
which has the potential danger of causing great health hazards to the citizens in
30. Further, large scale conversions and illegal usage of land use violate the Right
to Life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India, inter alia, by
causing pollution, threat to ecology and environment, stress and public
inconvenience and lack of peace and comfort. The Revised Master Plan 2015,
seeks to give credence to these very illegal actions through its proposal of
Mixed Zones, commercial axes, mutation corridors etc. Further, the readiness
with which the third respondent has sought to introduce mixed land use in pure
residential areas, is merely an attempt to disguise its inability to check the
illegal change in land use, rampant in the city.
31. The Petitioners submit that this Hon’ble Court could take judicial notice of the
violation of the rights of the citizens of Bangalore including the right to live in
a healthy and well planned environment, resulting from gross omissions and
commissions of the BDA, the BMRDA and the State Government.
32. In the circumstances, the Petitioners submit that they have no other alternative
and efficacious remedy except to approach this Hon’ble Court in exercise of its
extraordinary jurisdiction under Articles 226 and 227 of Constitution of India.
The Petitioners have not preferred any other writ petition on the said cause of
action and there are no legal proceedings pending in connection therewith.
Therefore, the Petitioners beg to prefer this Memorandum of Writ Petition on
the following amongst other grounds –
G R O U N D S
33. The Revised Master Plan, 2015 formulated by the second Respondent
(hereinafter referred to as “the said Plan”) and the approval granted by the first
Respondent - State Govt. (hereinafter referred to as “the said approval”) are
illegal, without jurisdiction, arbitrary, mala fide, unconstitutional and ultra
34. Despite the express language of Sections 9, 10, 18 of the BMRDA Act and
Section 81-C of the Town & Country Planning Act that the ultimate authority
in respect of development plans and schemes for the Bangalore Metropolitan
Region shall be the third Respondent, the second Respondent has usurped the
power and has exercised unbridled power in formulating the Revised Master
Plan, 2015. As such, the said Plan is without jurisdiction and ultra vires.
35. The approval of BMRDA has not been obtained for the said Plan and as such
the said Plan is illegal and unsustainable.
36. The said Plan is formulated and the said approval granted is in gross violation
of Section 81C of the Act, particularly as the approval is not sought through
the BMRDA, which is mandatory. The very purpose of the BMRDA Act
stands frustrated, with the second respondent overreaching its powers by
failing to take into consideration the suggestions of the third respondent.
37. The third Respondent is guilty of dereliction of its duty under the BMRDA Act
and has abdicated its powers and functions.
38. The said Plan bears no nexus with the objects sought to be achieved by the
Town & Country Planning Act and BMRDA Act, and is hence illegal and
violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. In this regard, the particular
objectives of the Act providing full civic amenities and prevention of
speculation and profiteering in land are undermined by the said Plan.
39. The second Respondent has failed to consider and incorporate the
recommendations of the PSS Thomas Committee and general citizen input
received in response to the Draft Master Plan. Hence, the entire exercise is
unscientific and haphazard.
40. The second Respondent has rejected the recommendations of the third
Respondent with regard to the said Plan without assigning any reasons and has
over-reached its powers.
41. The first Petitioner has made several representations to the authorities that have
not been heeded despite the legal obligation on the authorities to consider and
respond to the same and the right of the petitioner on behalf of the citizens of
Bangalore to seek appropriate intervention in matters of public concern.
42. The second Respondent is guilty of non-consideration of relevant materials and
thus the Plan suffers form lack of application of mind.
43. The said Plan has introduced a new category “T” denoting transportation
facility that can be principal usage in a residential area. However, the same was
not present in the Draft Master Plan and thus no input from the Expert
committee, the BMRDA or the general public is available in this aspect and
thus the said Plan suffers from arbitrariness.
44. Even otherwise, the second Respondent has failed to comply with the
requirements of Section 81-C of the Town & Country Planning Act and no
valid approval of the BMRDA is forthcoming.
45. The second Respondent has failed to consider the public interest element
involved and the process mandated by Law.
46. With the deletion of section 19 of the Act, the first and second Respondents
have no right to undertake the formulation of the Plan without the approval of
the third Respondent BMRDA. The said Plan hence defeats the very purpose
of the constitution of the BMRDA and the amendment to the Act by the
deletion of section 19.
47. BMRDA has not acted as the Director, Town Planning as required by section
9, 81C of the Act, inter alia, and hence, the entire exercise is illegal and
opposed to statute.
48. The said Plan and approval are formulated / granted without considering the
various objections filed to the proposed plan, and hence violative of the
Principles of Natural Justice.
49. The Petitioners have reason to suspect that the said Plan and approval are a
result of pressure brought by various real estate ‘lobbies’ to circumvent the
checks and balances provided by zoning and to facilitate rampant
commercialization and are hence vitiated by mala fides.
50. The second Respondent has acted in a mechanical and arbitrary fashion and in
total violation of all the mandates prescribed under the BMRDA Act and the
Town & Country Planning Act.
51. The second Respondent has failed to apply its mind to the requirements of the
city and its residents and has acted in a high-handed fashion.
52. The action of the second Respondent, the complicity of the first and third
Respondents in granting approval to the Revised master plan, despite the
Master Plan being illegal, for the above said reasons, tantamount to fraud on
the statute and is vitiated with mala fides, both legal and factual.
53. The high-handedness of the second Respondent, the inaction of the first and
third Respondents to refuse approval to the Master Plan have affected the
fundamental rights of the citizens of Bangalore enshrined in Articles 14 and 21
of the Constitution of India.
54. Article 21 grants all citizens the right to live in a clean, orderly and healthy
environment, which stands affected by the impugned Plan and approval.
55. The second Respondent has failed to invite national or global tenders for the
formulation of the Revised Master Plan, 2015 and suffers from lack of
56. The second Respondent has failed to take into account local participation at
ward levels, or from the local elected representatives while formulating the
Revised Master plan, 2015.
57. The Master Plan was prepared by the second Respondent enlisting the help of a
French consultancy firm, M/s. SCE, a foreign entity with little or no idea of the
ground realities of the city and its needs while ignoring the detailed analysis
proffered by the expert committee and the BMRDA, the primary authority
responsible for the development of the BMR. As such, the entire exercise is
arbitrary, unreasonable and vitiated.
58. The said Plan seeks to treat unequals as equals and is hence discriminatory and
violative of Article 14.
59. The action of the second Respondent in formulating the Plan violates the
Wendsbury principles of reasonableness and the second Respondent has acted
outside the scope of its delegated administrative powers.
60. The said Plan is passed without taking into account the recommendations of
the BMRDA and on this short ground the said Plan to be quashed.
61. The said Plan is passed without complying with the mandatory requirements of
the Karnataka Planning Authority Rules, 1977, particularly Rules 41 & 42 that
provide for ingredients and surveys to be conducted.
62. The Plan is a violation of the very parent statute and is hence a colourable
exercise of powers vested in the Government.
63. The Plan is violative of the provisions of the Act as well as the BMRDA Act.
64. The said Plan does not take into account the various recommendations of the
BMRDA as well as the expert committee / core group. Further, the said Plan
reflects disparity between the Vision Document and the final Plan itself, and is
65. The absence of public participation in the formulation of the plan as well as in
the constitution of the BMRDA, core group and expert committee violates the
very purpose of the 73rd and 74th Amendment to the Constitution. The said
amendment is further violated by the failure to take into account the role and
suggestions of the BMRDA in the approval of the said Plan.
66. The Plan has introduced several new categories of zones, such as "mixed
zones" Mutation Corridors", Transformation zones all of which are ultra vires
the Act its objectives.
67. The said Plan militates against the Right to Life as the civic authorities would
not be able to provide these due to the errors in the Plan. For example the Plan
permits increase in FAR that would lead to higher density of population and
the consequent impossibility of providing water supply and sanitation to the
affected areas. The opinion of BWSSB the authority responsible to provide the
same were not considered in approving the Plan and the Petitioner believes that
the expert opinion of BWSSB was deliberately ignored by both first and
second Respondents. Similarly, the views of the Fire Force and Police Force
have also not been taken into account.
68. With the introduction of the new Zonal Regulations under the Revised Master
Plan 2015 granting mixed use in all areas, Section 14-A of the Town &
Country Planning has been rendered otiose. Section 14-A was inserted with a
laudable object of restricting change of land use in matter of public interest in
cases of cartographical errors. The said provision (though bereft of guidelines
and abused indiscriminately in practice) has been made redundant by virtue of
the said Plan, sans any cogent reason or justification, hence offending Article
14 of the Constitution of India.
69. The Revised Master Plan, 2015 suffers from various infirmities, viz.,
permitting topographical changes in valley and tank bed areas, reduction of
green belt area from 56% in the year 1995 to a mere 35% currently, permission
for ancillary activity in residential areas etc.
70. The said Plan violates the very objects of the Act and the purpose of planning,
zoning and provisions of change of land use.
71. The said Plan causes a disastrous effect upon the ecology, planning and
identity of the City of Bangalore and violates the fundamental Right to Life of
72. The inaction and apathy of the Respondents violates the Constitutional and
Fundamental rights of the Petitioners and the citizens of Bangalore on whose
behalf the present proceedings are brought.
73. The Zonal Regulations framed under the said Plan as well as all consequential
permissions granted thereunder also suffer from the illegalities referred to
above and are liable to be quashed.
74. There is a pressing need for judicial intervention in connection with the failure
in functioning of constitutional and statutory authorities that affect the public
rights of citizens.
75. The impugned Revised Master Plan and the actions of the Respondents suffer
from various other infirmities that shall be pointed out at the time of hearing.
76. The various grounds raised herein are in the alternative and without prejudice
to one another.
GROUNDS FOR INTERIM PRAYER
77. The second Respondent has since obtaining approval from the State
Government has started implementing the zonal regulations formulated under
the Revised Master Plan 2015. Third parties such as IT and BPO companies
and other commercial concerns are being granted permission to start
operations in residential areas. Further, implementation of commercial axes
and mutation corridors are also to begin shortly. These changes once granted
will change the landscape of the city absolutely and there will be no recourse
to remedy this and the Petitioners along with other citizens will be put to
undue and irreversible hardship.
78. Therefore, it is just and necessary to restrain the second Respondent from
taking any action under the Revised Master Plan 2015, and stay the operation
of the Revised Master Plan 2015 pending disposal of this petition, in the
interests of justice. More over, there is a need to constitute a Committee to
enquire into the damage already caused by the implementation of the Plan
and undo the same by filing an appropriate report before this Hon’ble Court.
Unless such orders are passed, the Petitioners and the residents of Bangalore
shall suffer irreparable harm and the petition itself will be rendered
infructuous. Per contra, no hardship shall be caused to the Respondents.
P R A Y E R
WHEREFORE the Petitioners respectfully pray that this Hon’ble Court
may be pleased to –
(i) Issue a writ of Certiorari or any other appropriate writ, order or direction
quashing the Revised Master Plan 2015 formulated by the second
Respondent including the Zoning Regulations framed thereunder and all
illegal permissions granted subsequent to the said Plan (at Annexure S);
(ii) Issue a writ of Certiorari or any other appropriate writ, order or direction
quashing the approval granted by the first Respondent vide its order No.
UDD 540 BEM AA SE 2004, Bangalore dated 25.06.2007 (at Annexure
(iii) Issue a writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or
direction, directing the Respondents no. 1 & 2 to reconsider the
formulation of the Revised Master Plan 2015 in view of the
Recommendations of the P. S. S. Thomas Expert Committee and the
representations of the Petitioners (at Annexures C, H & K);
(iv) Grant such other and further reliefs, including the costs of this writ
petition, in the interests of justice.
Pending the disposal of this Writ Petition, the Petitioners respectfully pray
that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to (a) stay the operation of the Revised
Master Plan 2015 (at Annexure S), and (b) constitute a Technical Committee to
enquire into the implementation of the said Plan and the illegal permissions and
sanctions granted pursuant thereto, and to file a report before this Hon’ble Court,
and grant such other and further orders as may be expedient in the interests of
BANGALORE DATED: ADVOCATE FOR PETITIONERS
Address for service: Mr. Aditya Sondhi Advocate Law Chambers 101, Landmark 5/2, Cunningham Crescent Road Bangalore 560 052 +91 80 2225 0428