The State Government on Monday told the High Court of Karnataka that the Chief Minister was looking into its earlier decision to sell 3,667 acres of land to JSW Ltd., Ballari, at a meagre price of ₹1.22 lakh per acre.
Also, is was stated on behalf of the Government that the decision, taken to sell the land by the Cabinet headed by the then Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa based on recommendation by the sub-committee headed by the then Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, was “not confirmed” in the subsequent Cabinet meeting.
These submissions were made during the hearing of a PIL petition filed by one K.A. Paul, a resident of Bengaluru, who had questioned the decision to sell a large area of land for a meagre price to the private company.
A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum, which recorded the Government counsel’s submission, closed the petition while stating that it did not survive for further consideration in view of the submission made on behalf of the Government.
In its interim order of June, the court had imposed a rider on the Government that the decision to sell the land based on April 26, 2021 Cabinet meeting would be subject to further orders to be passed on the petition.
Interestingly, the Government had on June 15 told the court that though the Cabinet meeting on April 26 had decided to sell the land to the company, it was “not confirmed” in the Cabinet meeting held on May 27.
When it was later brought to court’s notice that the Government on May 6 itself had issued an order for selling the land to the company, the court in its July 13 order asked the Government to clarify that the GO of May 6 would not be acted upon without the approval of the Cabinet.