No concept of gated community; roads not exclusive to local residents says K’taka HC


PTI, Nov 30, 2023, 1:45 PM IST

Landowners or developers of a layout will not have any right over roads and other services once they relinquish control over it to the civic bodies, the Karnataka High Court said, upholding a judgement of a single judge bench. The Upkar Residences had filed a petition before the single judge bench against Pabba Reddy Kodandarami Reddy of Sree Lakshmi Venkateshwara Towers, Outer Ring Road, Bellandur seeking right of ingress and egress of the public in the approved layout.

Reddy had contended that it was a gated community and the roads were meant for exclusive use of the residents. The single judge bench in its order passed on November 29, 2022 held that there was no concept of gated community and Reddy cannot interdict the use of roads by the public.

Reddy had challenged this by way of an appeal which was heard by a division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit.

Dismissing the appeal, the division bench said, “We decline indulgence in the matter being broadly in agreement with the reasoning of the learned Single Judge that the roads in the layout concerned can be made use of both by the residents of the layout and others as well. This is consistent with condition No.11 incorporated by the competent authority while sanctioning the layout plan.” Condition 11 stipulates that the roads and public amenities are maintained by the civic authorities and allowed for use by all public.

The bench cited an earlier order of the HC in which the sanctity of condition 11 was upheld.

“In the absence of condition-11 subject to which the layout plan was approved, we would have appreciated the contention of the appellant that the roads in the subject layout were exclusively meant for its residents and therefore, outsiders cannot as a matter of right tread the same. However, that is not the case,” it said.

The court, however, noted that even when Condition 11 is active, the residents can obtain special concessions to prevent the use of roads as a thoroughfare. “It hardly needs to be stated that there is no impediment in law as it now obtains that for special reasons even with the stipulation of the condition-11 a specific concession can be obtained at the hands of the authorities that despite relinquishment of the roads and public amenity spaces, the said roads are not intended to be a thoroughfare and therefore, outsiders cannot as a matter of course can make use of the same,” the bench said.

But once the roads are given up to the civic agencies, the original owners have no right over it, the HC said. “We need to clarify that once the relinquishment is done, the land owner or the developer of the layout will have no right whatsoever, which they had before relinquishment was done,” the bench said.

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