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A writ petition may be liable to be dismissed on the ground of suppression of material facts: Karnataka High Court

Suppression of material and vital facts serve to be a legitimate ground to dismiss a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, as no discretion can be exercised in favour of a petitioner who has concealed substantial facts from the Court. A division bench consisting of Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice NS Sanjay Gowda while adjudicating the matter in Sri Ananthaswamy v. State of Karnataka [WRIT APPEAL No.1451 OF 2018 (LA – KIADB)], dealt with the issue of wrongful land acquisition.

The contention of the appellant was that the lands were acquired by late Patel Chikkahanumaiah under the respective inams abolition proceedings. Later, the lands were settled amongst the family members of the said Patel Chikkahanumaiah as per a family settlement. The aforesaid lands came to the share of the appellant herein, being one of the sons of late Patel Chikkahanumaiah. The appellant/petitioner contended that the acquisition process was not in accordance with law and therefore, the same was assailed in the said writ petition. He also contended that the respondent had indulged in commercial exploitation of the lands acquired for the said purpose by selling them or entering into a Joint Development Agreement with third parties.

Learned counsel appearing for the respondent stated that the acquisition of the lands for the benefit of respondent is not in accordance with law and that the acquisition may be quashed insofar as the aforesaid extent of lands are concerned. The learned counsel for the appellant further submitted that there are certain additional documents which have to be considered in this appeal. If the same are considered, the impugned judgment would have to be then set aside. As per this writ petition, the petitioner sought two things: one, seeking quashing of the acquisition notifications and the second, seeking a declaration that the acquisition of the lands in question had lapsed.

Upon considering the aforesaid facts, the Court dismissed the writ petition and stated that “The non-disclosure of the aforesaid facts regarding earlier proceedings before this Court as well as the Apex Court in the writ petition filed by the appellant herein is a serious matter. In fact, on the ground of suppression of material and vital facts also the writ petition is liable to be dismissed as no discretion under Article 226 of the Constitution of India could be exercised in favour of a petitioner who has withheld vital facts from this Court which exercises extraordinary original jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. In the circumstances, we find that the learned Single Judge was right in holding that the provisions of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 is not applicable to an acquisition proceeding initiated under the provisions of the KIAD Act. Hence, we find no merit in the appeal.”

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