PLANTATION LAND IN BANGALORE, RAMANAGARA, TUMAKURU AND CHIKKABALLAPURA DISTRICTS- Managed by companies-DANGER-WATCH OUT-ANOTHER DREAMZ IS UNDER CREATION


Too many mails, SMS and Spam & Fraud telecallers inviting you for the purchase of PLANTATION LANDS in Bangalore Urban, Rural, Ramangara, Tumakuru and Chikkaballapura Districts, tempting the buyers with juicy deals.

UNDERSTAND: What are plantation Crops? Where does these crops grow?

What are the requirements of a plantation land?

BEWARE AND BE CAREFUL, NOT TO FELL INTO THESE TELE CALLERS-MAILS AND SMS.

There is another catch from friends and relatives. They are offered high commissions on the sale of this type of land, so they tempt stating that they have bought XXXXXX many feet or guntas and drown you in lifelong misery.

There was teak plantation scam earlier and many drowned in it and now, coffeee, tea and rubber, papya plantation scheme in BANGALORE.

The price of an acre of coffee estate in Coorg, Chickmagalore and Hassan vary anywhere in the range of Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.20 lakhs, but these sellers/marketing agents are offering 0-10 guntas at Rs.10 to Rs.20 lakhs. The returns will be anywhere 1% to -5% and reselling is very difficult.

THINK, THINK, TAKE EXPERTS ASSISTANCE AND THEN JUMP WITH YOUR MONEY BAG.

BUILDING PLAN AND RERA APPROVAL FOR A PROPERTY WITH LONG PENDING-STILL PENDING-TITLE SUIT-SARJAPUR ROAD, BANGALORE


It is said that a leading builder, in an upcoming apartment complex on sarjapur road obtained the sanction for a building plan from BBMP and got the RERA Approval, for the schedule property which had a litigation or title suit or cases as long as 19 to 20 years and still running and will run for some more time.

It is surprising that the buyers never checked or examined or scrutinised the titles before entering into sale agreement and the title and other documents were submitted at the time of the second advance or installment upon the demand by the buyers.

It is found that the same builder hiding/not disclosing the facts/concealing the facts from the buyers, tricked or convinced the buyers to pay advance money towards the apartments and it is heard that they were unwillingly compelled to pay the second payment, even though, the clients cited the litigation or pending suit, stating that , if the second advance or payment is not made, the registered sale agreement might be cancelled and 10% or 20% of the sale value of the apartment will be deducted as per the agreement. Forced or compelled by such threats or scare, the buyers paid the second installment.

The landlords submitted a petition or application or request to the BBMP not to proceed by clearly stating the pending litigation, but the BBMP sanctioned the building plan.

It is reliably learnt that the original landlords are planning to initiate another proceedings in the court of law very soon.

SENIOR CITIZENS-AGED PARENTS-GIFT DEED


Aged parents or senior citizens or widowed mother/father and aged sisters and brothers, who had properties or owned properties, which had been gifted to the children or sisters or brothers and are not being taken good care by the children/sisters or brothers may approach the court to get their grievance redressed, if the same gifted property is not sold by the beneficiary or the relative. Contact your advocate for legal solution.

TDR SCAM-APARTMENTS BUILT WITH TDR OF 2 BUILDERS MIGHT BE AFFECTED


There is news of allegations of discrepancy/violation of law regarding the TDR issued by the BBMP, utilising it, a leading builder having built apartments at Bannergatta road and another builder having built few residential complexes across Bangalore may be under scrutiny by the investigating agencies. It is learnt from reliable sources that there are few more builders might have been involved.

Please check the DP/Sanctioned Building plan and the documents submitted to get the approvals and sanctions.

TDR Scam in BBMP- Some builders may or might or really in trouble!!!!


The recent Transferable Development Right SCAM in BBMP will ultimately affect the innocent property buyers, in fact, majority are APARTMENT BUYERS.

The fact is that these BUILDERS have bought the TDR and made good use of it and are constructing or constructed the complexes, may be illegal. It is a long legal battle.

The advance booking apartment GUYS and the buyers are in SERIOUS LEGAL TANGLE for quite some years. The legal opinion may not be complete or may be insufficient to look into these issues. These builders refuse/decline/reject to give proper details and clarification or documents related to the TDR.

A famous CREDAI member name is widely known for the purchase of TDR.

What is TDR.

The Government Body like BBMP acquires private property for public purpose for road widening and as usual cannot pay the property value or consideration or compensation, hence, if the land acquired is 1 feet, TDR is issued for 1 1/2 feet or 2 feet for the additional or extra construction over and above the FAR or FSI. The result is that the buyer gets LESS UNDIVIDED SHARE IN THE LAND.

This is free BALAJI DARSHAN offered by this type of Apartment complexes by the developer, the buyer need not go to the Tirupati for BALAJI DARSHAN, the builder, puts the NAMA (lll) right in their air conditioned office and the buyers are thrilled. The NAMA is invincible and these buyers pay for their penalty even without knowing, for another 5 to 20 years.

PROPERTY LEGAL SERVICES FOR OVERSEAS CLIENTS – DEVELOPMENT OF RESIDENTIAL LAYOUTS-INDUSTRIAL ESTATE & COMMERCIAL COMPLEXES


We provide end-end liaison services in Karnataka. We assist in the purchase of properties/lands for residential/industrial and commercial purposes, change the nature of use from the appropriate Government authority, develop it as per the prevailing laws, obtain the approvals, clearances and ready to build status.

We handle property/recovery & all type of civil litigations from our legal team of experts and panel.

Liaison with all central and state government for residential/industrial and commercial purposes.

BDA, Anekal Planning Authority & BIAAPA Approved & Released Sites with E-Katha is available for sale


1). 2 BHK Apartment at Hiranandani, Devanahalli, freehold, ready to occupy is for sale. Price.92,00,000/-, with E-Katha.

2). BIAAPA approved and released site near Brigade Orchards, Devanahally, close to the 60 feet road and cargo road is for sale. 1,350 sft. Price. 3,000/-

3). North Facing, BDA site in Jayanagar 2nd Block, 80 feet road, 60 Feet X 90 Feet – 5400 sft approximately is for sale.

4). 3 sites of various dimension approved by BDA now within BBMP jurisdiction attached to Banashankari 5th Stage Layout Close to Mysore Road, Bangalore is for sale. Rs.4,500/- approximately.

5). Site at BDA approved and released site with E-Katha on Sarjapur Road, Well developed layout, surrounded by villas,measuring 30 feet X 50 feet -1,500 sft and the price is Rs.4,500/- approximately.

All the properties are BDA/BIAAPA approved, released, well developed, free hold, clear titled properties for sale.

SERIOUS & GENUINE BUYERS WITH FINANCIAL CAPABILITY MAY CONTACT US:

Site visit and inspection will be arranged.

Service Charges applicable.

ecopackindia@gmail.com
ecopackindia@live.com
9342816151
9980866144

Casual and General price enquiry clients NEED NOT CALL AND DISTURB.

Sale Agreements which are one sided and unfair cannot stand the test of law and will be struck down. Many builder`s sale agreements in bengaluru is of similar kind. Supreme Court case citation dated 02-04-2019


R

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 12238 OF 2018

Pioneer Urban Land & Infrastructure Ltd.                                     …Appellant

Versus

Govindan Raghavan                                                                                               …Respondent

WITH

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1677 OF 2019

Pioneer Urban Land & Infrastructure Ltd.                                     …Appellant

Versus

Geetu Gidwani Verma & Anr.                                                                    …Respondent

J U D G M E N T

INDU MALHOTRA, J.

  1. The present statutory Appeals have been filed under Section 23 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 to challenge the Final Judgment and Order dated 23.10.2018 passed in Consumer


Case No. 238 of 2017 and Consumer Case No. 239 of 2017 by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (hereinafter referred to as “the National Commission”).

  • Since a common issue arises in both the Civil Appeals, they are being disposed of by the present common Judgment and Order.
  • For the sake of brevity, the facts in C.A. No. 12238 of 2018 are being referred to, being the lead matter.

The factual matrix of the said Civil Appeal is as under :

3.1.  The Appellant – Builder launched a residential project by the name “Araya Complex” in Sector 62, Golf Course

Extension Road, Gurugram.

The  Respondent  –  Flat  Purchaser  entered  into  an

Apartment Buyer’s Agreement dated 08.05.2012 with the Appellant – Builder to purchase an apartment in the said project for a total sale consideration of Rs. 4,83,25,280/-.

As per Clause 11.2 of the Agreement, the Appellant –

Builder was to make all efforts to apply for the Occupancy Certificate within 39 months from the date of excavation, with a grace period of 180 days.


3.2. The excavation of the project commenced on 04.06.2012. As per Clause 11.2 of the Agreement, the Builder was required to apply for the Occupancy Certificate by 04.09.2015, or within a further grace period of 6 months i.e. by 04.03.2016, and offer possession of the flat to the Respondent – Flat Purchaser.

The Appellant – Builder however failed to apply for the Occupancy Certificate as per the stipulations in the Agreement.

3.3. The Respondent – Flat Purchaser filed a Consumer Complaint before the National Commission on 27.01.2017 alleging deficiency of service on the part of the Appellant – Builder for failure to obtain the Occupancy Certificate, and hand over possession of the flat.

The Respondent prayed inter-alia for :-

•     Refund   of   the   entire   amount   deposited   being Rs. 4,48,43,026/-, along with Interest @18% p.a.; and

  • Compensation of Rs. 10,00,000/- for mental agony, harassment, discomfort and undue hardship; and
  • Refund of the wrongfully charged taxes including Service Tax, and other charges along with Interest @18% p.a.; and
  • Litigation Costs of Rs. 1,00,000/-.

3.4. On 06.02.2017, the National Commission passed an ex-parte Interim Order restraining the Appellant–Builderfrom cancelling the allotment made in favour of the Respondent – Flat Purchaser during the pendency of the Consumer Case.

3.5. During the pendency of the proceedings before the National Commission, the Appellant – Builder obtained the Occupancy Certificate on 23.07.2018, and issued a Possession Letter to the Respondent – Flat Purchaser on 28.08.2018.

3.6. The Appellant – Builder submitted before the National Commission that since the construction of the apartment was complete, and the Occupancy Certificate had since been obtained, the Respondent – Flat Purchaser must be directed to take possession of the apartment, instead of directing refund of the amount deposited.

3.7. The Respondent – Flat Purchaser however submitted that he was not interested in taking possession of the apartment on account of the inordinate delay of almost 3 years. The Respondent – Flat Purchaser stated that he had, in the meanwhile, taken an alternate property in Gurugram, and sought refund of the entire amount of Rs. 4,48,43,026/- deposited by him along with Interest @18% p.a.

3.8. The National Commission vide Final Judgment and Order dated 23.10.2018 allowed the Consumer Complaint filed by the Respondent – Flat Purchaser, and held that since the last date stipulated for construction had expired about 3 years before the Occupancy Certificate was obtained, the Respondent – Flat Purchaser could not be compelled to take possession at such a belated stage.

The grounds urged by the Appellant – Builder for delay in handing over possession were not justified, so as to deny awarding compensation to the Respondent – Flat Purchaser. The clauses in the Agreement were held to be wholly one – sided, unfair, and not binding on the Respondent – Flat Purchaser.

The Appellant – Builder was directed to refund Rs. 4,48,43,026/- i.e. the amount deposited by the Respondent – Flat Purchaser, along with Interest @10.7% S.I. p.a. towards compensation. The rate of Interest @10.7% S.I. p.a. was fixed in accordance with Rule 15 of the Haryana Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2017 which reads as follows :

“15. An allottee shall be compensated by the promoter for loss or damage sustained due to incorrect or false statement in the notice, advertisement, prospectus or brochure in the terms of Section 12. In case, allottee wishes to withdraw from the project due to discontinuance of promoter’s business as developers on account of suspension or revocation of the registration or any other reason(s) in terms of clause (b) sub-section (I) of Section 18 or the promoter fails to give possession of the apartment/ plot in accordance with terms and conditions of agreement for sale in terms of sub-section (4) of section 19. The promoter shall return the entire amount with interest as well as the compensation payable. The rate of interest payable by the promoter to the allottee or by the allottee to the promoter, as the case may be, shall be the State Bank of India highest marginal cost of lending rate plus two percent. …”

(emphasis supplied)

However, for the period when the Interim Order dated 06.02.2017 was in operation, which restrained the Appellant – Builder from cancelling the Respondent’s allotment, no Interest was awarded. The National Commission ordered payment of Interest from the date of

each installment till 05.02.2017; and from the date of the Order passed by the Commission till the date on which the amount would be refunded.

3.9. Aggrieved by the Order dated 23.10.2018 passed by the National Commission, the Appellant – Builder preferred the present statutory Appeal under Section 23 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

  • Mr. C.A. Sundaram, Senior Counsel appeared for the Appellant – Builder, and drew our attention to the following Clauses in the Apartment Buyer’s Agreement dated 08.05.2012 viz. Clause 11.5 (ii), (iv) and (v) along with Clause

20 which read as under :

“11.5. (ii) In the event of further delay by the Developer in handing over of the possession of the Unit even after 12 months from the end of grace period, then in such case, the intending Allottee shall have an additional option to terminate this Agreement by giving termination notice of 90 days to the Developer and refund of the actual installment paid by him against the Unit after adjusting the taxes paid / interest / penalty on delayed payments.

  • Developer shall, within ninety (90) days from the date of receipt of termination notice of said Unit, refund to the intending Allottee, all the monies received excluding the service tax collected on various remittances, till the date of the refund, from the Intending Allottee under this Agreement. In case the Developer fails to refund

the Sale Price, the Developer shall pay interest to the Intending Allottee @ 9% per annum for any period beyond the said period of ninety (90) days. The Intending Allottee shall have no other claim against the Developer in respect of the said Unit along with the parking space. The Intending Allottee in this event shall have no right to seek any compensation apart from the interest as stipulated herein.

  • If the Intending Allottee fails to exercise his right of termination within the time limit as aforesaid, by delivery to the Developer of a written notice acknowledged by the Developer in this regard, then he shall not be entitled to terminate this Agreement thereafter and he shall continue to be bound by the provisions of this Agreement, provided that in such case, the Developer shall continue to pay the compensation provided herein.
  • RIGHT OF CANCELLATION BY THE ALLOTTEE

Except to the extent specifically and expressly stated elsewhere in this Agreement, the Intending Allottee shall have the right to cancel this Agreement solely in the event of the clear and unambiguous failure of the warranties of the Developer that leads to frustration of the contract on that account. In such case, the Allottee shall be entitled to a refund of the installments actually paid by it along with interest thereon @ 6% per annum, within a period of 90 days from the date of communication to the Developer in this regard less any payments made towards taxes paid by the Developer or interest paid due or payable, any other amount of a non-refundable nature. No other claim, whatsoever, monetary or otherwise shall lie against the Developer nor shall be raised otherwise or in any manner whatsoever by the Allottee. Save and except to this limited extent, the Allottee shall not have any right to cancel this

Agreement on any ground whatsoever.”

(emphasis supplied)

4.1.   It was submitted that the Respondent – Flat Purchaser

was not entitled to refund of the amount deposited, since


the Apartment Buyer’s Agreement was not terminated by the Respondent – Flat Purchaser in accordance with Clause 11.5 (ii) of the Agreement, which stipulates that the allottee has to terminate the Agreement by giving a Termination Notice of 90 days to the Developer.

Since the Respondent – Flat Purchaser had not terminated the Agreement by a written notice as per Clause 11.5, the Builder could not sell the apartment, and refund the money to the Respondent – Flat Purchaser. On the contrary, the Respondent filed a Consumer Complaint and obtained an ex-parte Interim Order dated 06.02.2017 restraining the Builder from cancelling the allotment made in favour of the Respondent.

4.2. It was further submitted that if the filing of the Consumer Complaint is considered as an act of termination of the Agreement, then the same was pre-mature. As per Clause 11.5 (ii), the Respondent – Flat Purchaser could have claimed refund only after the expiry of 12 months after the grace period came to an end i.e. after 04.03.2017. However, the Consumer Complaint was filed on 27.01.2017. In these circumstances, even if it is


found that the Appellant – Builder is liable to refund the amount deposited with Interest, then the date of the Impugned Order i.e. 23.10.2018, must be treated as the date of serving the Termination Notice as per Clause 11.5

  • of the Agreement, and the Appellant – Builder should be held liable to pay Interest only after 90 days from the date of termination i.e. from 23.01.2019.

4.3. With respect to rate of Interest awarded by the National Commission, it was submitted that the Commission erred in granting Interest @10.7% S.I. p.a. even though Clause 20 of the Agreement provided Interest @6% p.a. in case of delay in handing over possession. Even under Clause 11.5 of the Agreement, the Builder was liable to pay Interest @9% p.a., but not @10.7% S.I. p.a. The learned Senior Counsel relied upon this Court’s Judgment in Bharathi

Knitting Company v. DHL Worldwide Express Courier Division of Airfreight Ltd.,1 and submitted that the NationalCommission could not have granted compensation in excess of the rate prescribed by the Agreement.

  1. (1996) 4 SCC 704.


  • Mr. Sushil Kaushik, learned Counsel represented the Respondent – Flat Purchaser.

5.1. It was submitted that the filing of the Consumer Complaint may be treated as his Termination Notice under Clause 11.5 (ii) of the Agreement. Under the Agreement, the Builder was obligated to apply for the Occupancy Certificate within 39 months from the date of excavation, with a grace period of further 6 months. The period got over by 04.03.3016 after taking into account the grace period.

Admittedly, the Appellant – Builder offered possession after an inordinate delay of almost 3 years on 28.08.2018. On account of the inordinate delay, the Respondent – Flat Purchaser had no option but to arrange for alternate accommodation in Gurugram. Hence, he could not be compelled to take possession of the apartment after such a long delay.

It was in these circumstances that the Respondent – Flat Purchaser sought stay of the cancellation of the allotment as a collateral, till his claim for refund was adjudicated by the National Commission.

5.2. It was further submitted that the Clauses of the Agreement were one-sided. As per Clause 6.4 (ii) of the Apartment Buyer’s Agreement, the Appellant Builder could charge Interest @18% p.a. for delayed payments.

However, the Appellant – Builder was not required to pay equivalent Interest to the Respondent – Flat Purchaser for delay in handing over possession of the flat.

On the contrary, as per Clause 11.5 (iv) of the Agreement, in case of delay on the part of the Appellant – Builder in handing over possession of the flat, the Respondent – Flat Purchaser was entitled to Interest @9% p.a. only.

5.3. The Respondent further submitted that the National Commission had ordered payment of Interest as per the statutory Rules i.e. Rule 15 of the Haryana Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2017 @10.7% S.I. p.a.

The Respondent – Flat Purchaser submitted that he had obtained a loan for Rs. 3,30,00,000/- from Standard Chartered Bank to purchase the flat in question, and had entered into a Tripartite Loan Agreement with the Bank

and the Builder. The Respondent – Flat Purchaser had to pay Interest @10% p.a. for servicing the loan for the entire period. Hence, Interest @10.7% S.I. p.a. awarded by the National Commission was just and fair.

It was pointed out that even though the National Commission had not granted Interest for the period during which the Order of stay of cancellation of the allotment was in operation, the Respondent – Flat Purchaser had to pay Interest to the Bank even for this period.

5.4. The Respondent – Flat Purchaser submitted that the present Appeal be dismissed, and the Builder be directed to pay the amount awarded by the National Commission with Interest, within 1 week, so that the Respondent can discharge his loan liability.

  • We have heard the learned Counsel for both the parties, and perused the pleadings, and written submissions filed.

6.1.  In the present case, admittedly the Appellant – Builder obtained the Occupancy Certificate almost 2 years after the date stipulated in the Apartment Buyer’s Agreement. As  a  consequence,  there  was  a  failure  to  hand 

possession of the flat to the Respondent – Flat Purchaser within a reasonable period. The Occupancy Certificate was obtained after a delay of more than 2 years on 28.08.2018 during the pendency of the proceedings before the National Commission.

In Lucknow Development Authority v. M.K. Gupta,2 this Court held that when a person hires the services of a builder, or a contractor, for the construction of a house or a flat, and the same is for a consideration, it is a “service” as defined by Section 2 (o) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The inordinate delay in handing over possession of the flat clearly amounts to deficiency of service.

In Fortune Infrastructure & Anr. v. Trevor D’Lima & Ors.,3 this Court held that a person cannot be made to wait indefinitely for possession of the flat allotted to him, and is entitled to seek refund of the amount paid by him, along with compensation.

6.2. The Respondent – Flat Purchaser has made out a clear case of deficiency of service on the part of the Appellant – Builder. The Respondent – Flat Purchaser was justified in

  • (1994) 1 SCC 243.
  • (2018) 5 SCC 442.


terminating the Apartment Buyer’s Agreement by filing the Consumer Complaint, and cannot be compelled to accept the possession whenever it is offered by the Builder. The Respondent – Purchaser was legally entitled to seek refund of the money deposited by him along with appropriate compensation.

6.3. The National Commission in the Impugned Order dated 23.10.2018 held that the Clauses relied upon by the Builder were wholly one-sided, unfair and unreasonable, and could not be relied upon.

The Law Commission of India in its 199th Report, addressed the issue of ‘Unfair (Procedural & Substantive) Terms in Contract’. The Law Commission inter-alia recommended that a legislation be enacted to counter such unfair terms in contracts. In the draft legislation provided in the Report, it was stated that :

“A contract or a term thereof is substantively unfair if such contract or the term thereof is in itself harsh, oppressive or unconscionable to one of the parties.”

6.4. A perusal of the Apartment Buyer’s Agreement dated 08.05.2012 reveals stark incongruities between the remedies available to both the parties.


For instance, Clause 6.4 (ii) of the Agreement entitles the Appellant – Builder to charge Interest @18% p.a. on account of any delay in payment of installments from the Respondent – Flat Purchaser.

Clause 6.4 (iii) of the Agreement entitles the Appellant – Builder to cancel the allotment and terminate the Agreement, if any installment remains in arrears for more than 30 days.

On the other hand, as per Clause 11.5 of the Agreement, if the Appellant – Builder fails to deliver possession of the apartment within the stipulated period, the Respondent – Flat Purchaser has to wait for a period of 12 months after the end of the grace period, before serving a Termination Notice of 90 days on the Appellant – Builder, and even thereafter, the Appellant – Builder gets 90 days to refund only the actual installment paid by the Respondent – Flat Purchaser, after adjusting the taxes paid, interest and penalty on delayed payments. In case of any delay thereafter, the Appellant – Builder is liable to pay Interest @9% p.a. only.


6.5. Another instance is Clause 23.4 of the Agreement which entitles the Appellant – Builder to serve a Termination Notice upon the Respondent – Flat Purchaser for breach of any contractual obligation. If the Respondent – Flat Purchaser fails to rectify the default within 30 days of the Termination Notice, then the Agreement automatically stands cancelled, and the Appellant – Builder has the right to forfeit the entire amount of Earnest Money towards liquidated damages.

On the other hand, as Clause 11.5 (v) of the Agreement, if the Respondent – Flat Purchaser fails to exercise his right of termination within the time limit provided in Clause 11.5, then he shall not be entitled to terminate the Agreement thereafter, and shall be bound by the provisions of the Agreement.

6.6.   Section  2  (r)  of  the  Consumer  Protection  Act,  1986

defines ‘unfair trade practices’ in the following words :

‘unfair trade practice’ means a trade practice which, for

the purpose of promoting the sale, use or supply of any

goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair

method or unfair or deceptive practice …”, and includes any

of  the  practices  enumerated  therein.  The  provision  is

illustrative, and not exhaustive.

In Central Inland Water Transport Corporation Limited

and Ors. v. Brojo Nath Ganguly and Ors.,4 this Court held

that :

“89. … Our judges are bound by their oath to ‘uphold the Constitution and the laws’. The Constitution was enacted to secure to all the citizens of this country social and economic justice. Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees to all persons equality before the law and equal protection of the laws. This principle is that the courts will not enforce and will, when called upon to do so, strike down an unfair and unreasonable contract, or an unfair and unreasonable clause in a contract, entered into between parties who are not equal in bargaining power. It is difficult to give an exhaustive list of all bargains of this type. No court can visualize the different situations which can arise in the affairs of men. One can only attempt to give some illustrations. For instance, the above principle will apply where the inequality of bargaining power is the result of the great disparity in the economic strength of the contracting parties. It will apply where the inequality is the result of circumstances, whether of the creation of the parties or not. It will apply to situations in which the weaker party is in a position in which he can obtain goods or services or means of livelihood only upon the terms imposed by the stronger party or go without them. It will also apply where a man has no choice, or rather no meaningful choice, but to give his assent to a contract or to sign on the dotted line in a prescribed or standard form or to accept a set of rules as part of the contract, however unfair, unreasonable and unconscionable a clause in that contract or form or rules may be. This principle, however, will not apply where the bargaining power of the contracting parties is equal or almost equal. This principle may not

  • (1986) 3 SCC 156.

apply where both parties are businessmen and the contract is a commercial transaction. …

  • These cases can neither be enumerated nor fully illustrated. The court must judge each case on its own facts and circumstances.”

(emphasis supplied)

6.7. A term of a contract will not be final and binding if it is shown that the flat purchasers had no option but to sign on the dotted line, on a contract framed by the builder.

The contractual terms of the Agreement dated 08.05.2012 are ex-facie one-sided, unfair, and unreasonable. The incorporation of such one-sided clauses in an agreement constitutes an unfair trade practice as per Section 2 (r) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 since it adopts unfair methods or practices for the purpose of selling the flats by the Builder.

  • In view of the above discussion, we have no hesitation in holding that the terms of the Apartment Buyer’s Agreement dated 08.05.2012 were wholly one-sided and unfair to the Respondent – Flat Purchaser. The Appellant – Builder could not seek to bind the Respondent with such one-sided contractual terms.
  • We also reject the submission made by the Appellant – Builder that the National Commission was not justified in awarding Interest @10.7% S.I. p.a. for the period commencing from the date of payment of each installment, till the date on which the amount was paid, excluding only the period during which the stay of cancellation of the allotment was in operation.

In Bangalore Development Authority v. Syndicate Bank,5 a Coordinate Bench of this Court held that when possession of the allotted plot/flat/house is not delivered within the specified time, the allottee is entitled to a refund of the amount paid, with reasonable Interest thereon from the date of payment till the date of refund.

8.1. In the present case, the National Commission has passed an equitable Order. The Commission has not awarded any Interest for the period during which the Order of stay of cancellation of the allotment was in operation on the request of the Respondent – Flat Purchaser.

The National Commission has rightly awarded Interest @10.7% S.I. p.a. by applying Rule 15 of the Haryana Real

  • (2007) 6 SCC 711.

Estate (Regulation And Development) Rules, 2017 from the date of each installment till 05.02.2017 i.e. till the date after which the Order of stay of cancellation of the allotment was passed; and thereafter, from the date of the Commission’s final Order till the date on which the amount is refunded with Interest.

  • We see no illegality in the Impugned Order dated 23.10.2018 passed by the National Commission. The Appellant – Builder failed to fulfill his contractual obligation of obtaining the Occupancy Certificate and offering possession of the flat to the Respondent – Purchaser within the time stipulated in the Agreement, or within a reasonable time thereafter. The Respondent – Flat Purchaser could not be compelled to take possession of the flat, even though it was offered almost 2 years after the grace period under the Agreement expired. During this period, the Respondent – Flat Purchaser had to service a loan that he had obtained for purchasing the flat, by paying Interest @10% to the Bank. In the meanwhile, the Respondent – Flat Purchaser also located an alternate property in Gurugram. In these circumstances, the

Respondent – Flat Purchaser was entitled to be granted the relief prayed for i.e. refund of the entire amount deposited by him with Interest.

  1. The Civil Appeals are accordingly dismissed, and the Final Judgment and Order dated 23.10.2018 passed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission is affirmed. The appellant is granted a period of three months from today to refund the amount to the respondent. All pending Applications, if any, are accordingly disposed of.

……………………………….J.

(UDAY UMESH LALIT)

.………………………………J.

(INDU MALHOTRA)

New Delhi,

April 2, 2019.

AN APARTMENT COMPLEX – UPCOMING – HAS COURT CASE – RERA APPROVAL & BBMP PLAN SANCTION


A Tragedy in the making.

A builder, has obtained RERA Approval and BDA-DP and BBMP plan sanction, convincing (authorities) that it has a GOOD CASE. But, God only knows, how good the case is??>?????

But, it may be true or it may turn out to be a deliberate tragedy for the buyers of the apartments.

But, business goes on as usual and this case might go for another 19 years, as it had already run.

The outcome of the Court Decision cannot be predicted and if it turns out to be negative or adverse, either of the parties are sure to prefer an appeal and this might go on, unless and until the matter is settled.

WATER SCARCITY STARING AT BANGALORE


The onset of summer brought with it, mild to high temperature reaching upto 36 degrees and acute water shortage.

The Government (BWSSB) cannot quench the thirst of 10 to 12 million citizens with TG Reservior and Cauvery water supply, as the Summer advances, the situation appears to be too grim to ignore.

The underground water table has already reached its lowest ebb in year from 300 feet to 1500 to 1800 feet in many areas and most of it are not eligible for human use.

Now, many huge residential apartment complexes are dependent on Borewell water and water tankers. The best part of these highly luxurious complexes are that, even though, there is acute shortage of water, they need to fill up their SWIMMING POOLS!!! and are buying 5 to 10 tankers to fill it up.

The water supply syndicate has upped its rates from Rs.200/- to Rs.800 and may go up to Rs.1,200/-, if the situation continues.

The quality of the water supplied may not be good and therefore, it is advised to treat it before supplying it to the residents.

Nearly 50% of the bangalore wards are affected by water scarcity and among them, 20% are almost in ICU stage.

April and May, 2019 might be the very grim and therefore, the citizens must make necessary and precautionary measure to save and plan for such a period.

BUFFER ZONE


The Apex Court on Tuesday set aside the National Green Tribunal’s order of May 4, 2016, which enlarged the buffer zone limits around lakes and water bodies in Bengaluru.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah allowed the appeals filed by the Karnataka government and others direction for maintaining a buffer zone and green belt of 75-metre in case of lakes, 50-metre for primary, 35-metre for secondary Raja Kaluve and 25-meter for territory Raja Kaluve.

SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT ON BUFFER ZONE


CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5016 OF 2016 MANTRI TECHZONE PVT. LTD. … APPELLANTS VERSUS FORWARD FOUNDATION AND ORS. …

RESPONDENTS WITH CIVIL APPEAL NOS.8002-8003 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.12326 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.9227 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.1343 OF 2017

CIVIL APPEAL NO.10995 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.10993 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.10994 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.2246 OF 2018

CIVIL APPEAL NO.10992 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.12157 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.12152 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.12156 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.12158 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.12160 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.12159 OF 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NOS.4923-4924 OF 2017

CIVIL APPEAL NO.14966 OF 2017 2

J U D G M E N T S.ABDUL NAZEER, J.

1. These appeals have been preferred under Section 22 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 (for brevity ‘NGT Act’) challenging the judgment and order dated 07.05.2015 and 04.05.2016 respectively passed by the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi (for short ‘the Tribunal’).

2. The appellants in Civil Appeal Nos. 5016 of 2016 and 8002-8003 of 2016 are respondent Nos. 9 and 10 in the Original Application No. 222 of 2014 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the respondent Nos. 9 and 10’). The said Application was filed by respondent Nos.1 to 3 herein (hereinafter referred to as ‘the applicants’). Respondent Nos. 4 to 7 in these appeals are the State of Karnataka and other authorities. They were arrayed as respondent Nos. 1 to 4 in the application. Respondent Nos. 12 and 13 herein were subsequently impleaded in the application (for short ‘the impleaded respondents’).

3. The State of Karnataka has filed Civil Appeal Nos. 4923-4924 of 2017, challenging the general condition and direction No.(1) contained in the order of the Tribunal dated 04.05.2016. The other appeals have been filed by different entities, who were not parties 3 before the Tribunal challenging the order of the Tribunal dated 04.05.2016 insofar as it directs a buffer/green zone of 75 meters in respect of lakes, 50 meters in respect of primary Rajakaluves, 35 meters in case of secondary Rajakaluves and 25 meters in case of tertiary Rajakaluves with retrospective effect. According to them, they are adversely affected by the aforesaid condition in the impugned order.

4. The applicants filed O.A. No.222 of 2014 by contending that ecologically sensitive land was allotted by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (for short ‘the KIADB’) to respondent Nos. 9 and 10 vide Notifications dated 23.04.2004 and 07.05.2004 respectively for setting up of Software Technology Park, Commercial and Residential complex, hotel and Multi Level Car Parks. The Master Plan formulated by the Bangalore Development Authority (for short the ‘BDA’), identifies the allotted land as ‘Residential Sensitive’, though the same land was identified in the Draft Master Plan as ‘Protected Zone’. It was further contended that the Revenue Map in respect of properties as referred in the Land Lease Agreements has multiple Rajakaluves (Storm Water Drains). The development projects in question sit right on the catchment and wetland area which feeds the Rajakaluves, which in turn drains rain water into Bellandur Lake. The project will thus encroach two Rajakaluves of 1.38 acres and 1.23 acres each. 4

5. The Satellite Digital Images of the area from the year 2000 to 2012 show encroachment upon these Rajakaluves, as well as the manner in which they are covered by the construction. The State Level Expert Appraisal Committee (for short ‘SEAC’), which was to assist the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (for short ‘SEIAA’), held its meetings on various dates to examine the project. It had required the appellant No.9 to submit a revised NOC from the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (for short ‘BWSSB’) for the project in question. It was also observed that the project lies between the Bellandur Lake and the Agara Lake. Respondent No.9 was also directed to take protective measures to spare the buffer zone around Rajakaluves and also to commit that no construction would be carried out in the buffer zone. In the meeting of 11.11.2011, it was recorded that the project proposes car parking facility for 14,438 cars in that environmentally sensitive area.

6. It was alleged that NOC was issued covering an area of 17,404 sq. mtrs. whereas the built up area, as noted by SEAC, is 13,50,454.98 sq. mtrs. Respondent No.9 obtained NOC from BWSSB by concealing material facts and by misrepresenting that NOC is required only for residential units which form a very minuscule part of the total project. Respondent No.9 had approached the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (for short ‘the KSPCB’) for obtaining 5 clearance, which was granted on 04.09.2012 subject to the fulfillment of the conditions stated in the consent order which included leaving the buffer zone all along the valley and towards the lake. It is further contended that the grant of consent by the KSPCB to respondent No.9 also contained a condition with regard to obtaining Environmental Clearance from the Competent Authority and no construction was to commence until such clearance was granted.

7. Applicants further contended that respondent No.9 violated the conditions and commenced construction of the project. There was also violation of the stipulations stated in the approval of SEAC in relation to buffer zone and construction over Rajakaluves. The construction had been commenced over the ecologically sensitive area of the lake catchment area and valley, with utter disregard to the statutory compliances. Referring to these blatant irregularities, the applicant submitted that the conversion of land from ‘Protected Zone’ to ‘Residential Sensitive Area’ is violative of the law. The project is right in the midst of a fragile wetland area which ought not to have been disturbed by the development activity. The fragile environment of the catchment area has been exposed to grave and irreparable damage. It has severely disturbed and damaged the Rajakaluves. Respondent Nos. 9 and 10 started to level the land by filling it with debris, thus causing damage to the drains. The conditions with 6 regard to no-disturbance to the Storm Water Drains, natural valleys and buffer area in and around the Rajakaluves have been violated. It has in turn, affected the ground water table and bore wells which are the only source of water for thousands of households. Fishing and agriculture which depends on Bellandur Lake are also severely affected. The construction over the wetland between the two lakes is in violation of Wetlands (Conservation of Management) Rules, 2010 (for short ‘Rules of 2010’).

8. It was submitted that SEIAA in its meeting dated 29.09.2012, decided to close the file pertaining to respondent No. 10 due to non-submission of requisite information and the application thereof was rejected in November, 2012. Despite the rejection, respondent No.10 commenced construction on the project in full swing.

9. The applicants also relied upon the findings of the Joint Legislative Committee, constituted under the Chairmanship of Shri A.T. Ramaswamy in the month of July 2005, which stated that there were 262 water bodies in the Bangalore city in 1961 which drastically came down because of trespass and encroachments. It was also affirmed that about 840 kms. of Rajakaluves have been encroached upon in several places and have become sewage channels. The applicants also relied on the Report of the Committee under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Mr. Justice N.K. Patil suggesting immediate 7 remedial action in order to remove encroachments on the lake area and the Rajakaluves and preservation of the lakes in and around Bangalore city. It was further contended that other Expert Committees, including Lakshman Rau Expert Committee had also submitted proposals for preservation, restoration or otherwise of the existing tanks in Bangalore Metropolitan Area which recommended to maintain good water surface in Bellandur tank and to ensure that the water in the tank is not polluted. The Central Government in August 2013 had issued an advisory on conservation and restoration of water bodies in the urban areas. The applicants claim to have obtained monitoring report of the project by respondent No.5, Ministry of Environment and Forests, through RTI on 21.08.2013. The report dated 14.08.2013 revealed that the project proponents are in clear breach of their undertaking to carry out all precautionary measures to ensure that the Bellandur lake is not affected by the construction and operational phase of the project. This approach is particularly with regard to the major alteration in natural sloping pattern of the project site and natural hydrology of the area.

10. The Lake Development Authority (for short ‘the LDA’), after inspection in the catchment area of the Bellandur Lake submitted its report dated 12.06.2013 which confirms that the project will have disastrous impact, including deleterious effect on the Bellandur Lake. 8 This report was brought to the notice of KIADB. The LDA has also opined that the land should be classified and maintained as sensitive area. The KIADB called upon respondent No. 9 to comply with the rules of Ecology and Environment Department and to obtain necessary approval from KSPCB and LDA. Despite all this, respondent Nos. 9 and 10 have continued with their illegal constructions and have caused damage to the ecology and the environment by irreparably jeopardizing the ecological balance in this sensitive area. The applicants rely upon the Revised Master Plan, 2013 issued by BDA which specifically provides that 30 meters buffer zone is to be created around the lakes and 50 meters buffer zone to be created on either side of the Rajakaluves. It was also pleaded that respondent No. 9 had obtained the NOC from BWSSB only with regard to residential units and not for the entire project and that the Environmental Clearance obtained by respondent No.9 is based upon the partial NOC issued by BWSSB which itself is a misrepresentation. It was contended that the projects are bound to create water scarcity as the requirement of the project of respondent No. 9 alone is approximately 4.5 million liters per day, i.e. 135 million liters per month, which is more than what the BWSSB supplies to the entire Agaram Ward. The construction of respective projects by respondent Nos.9 and 10 respectively, besides having commenced without 9 permission from the authorities and being in violation of the conditions imposed for grant of permission/consent, is bound to damage the environment, resulting in change in the topography of the area, posing potential threat of extinction of the Bellandur lake, causing traffic congestion, shortening and wiping out the wetlands, extinction of Rajakaluves and causing serious and potential threat of flooding and massive scarcity of water in the city of Bangalore, particularly the areas located near the water bodies.

11. Respondent No.9 in its objections contended that it was incorporated with the objective of establishing an Information Technology Park and R & D Centre with facilities such as residential complexes, parks, education centres and other allied infrastructure within a single compound. It had submitted the proposal to establish such Information Technology Park and other facilities to the State Government and requested for allotment of land for the project. Its proposal was considered in 78th High Level Committee meeting held on 21.06.2000 and after examining the proposal, it was approved by the Government on 06.07.2000. Before the State High Level Committee, it had informed that its requirement was 110 acres of land, 25 MW of power from the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (for short the ‘KPTCL’), and four lakh litres of water per day from BWSSB. The lands for the project were initially notified vide 10 Notification dated 10.02.2004. Subsequently, the lands were allotted vide letter dated 28.06.2007 for which Lease-cum-Sale Agreement was signed on 30.06.2007. Considering the overall development of the State of Bangalore, this respondent proposed a Mixed Use Development Project consisting of an Information Technology Park, residential apartments, retail, hotel and office buildings with a total built up area of 13,50,454.98 sq mtrs. The Project was conceived as a zero waste discharge project. The project is located one and a half kms. away from the southern-side of the Bellandur Lake. Towards the North, adjacent to the Project, lies vast stretches of lands belonging to the Defence and towards the East, lies the Project of respondent No. 10 and another developer is also developing a project on the western side. It has obtained sanction plan on 04.07.2007 which was renewed from time to time.

12. Respondent No. 9 claims that it has obtained NOC from Airport Authority of India on 09.04.2010. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, vide its communication dated 16.04.2010, granted clearance for the project construction. BWSSB, vide its communication dated 26.04.2011 issued NOC for portion of the proposed construction to be built. The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd. also granted NOC for arranging power supply to the proposed residential and commercial building in its favour. Environmental Clearance was granted by 11 SEIAA vide communication dated 17.04.2012. The Director General of Police has issued NOC and KSPCB vide order dated 04.09.2012 accorded its consent for construction of the said project subject to the conditions stated therein. It was further stated that after grant of the Environmental Clearance on 17.09.2012, the same was published in the leading newspapers “Kannada Prabha” and “The Indian Express” on 12.03.2012 and 14.03.2014 respectively.

13. It submitted a modified the building plan which was approved by KIADB vide its letter dated 30.08.2012, which was valid up to 10.08.2014. It started the construction of the project in November 2012, taking all precautions as per terms and conditions of the orders issued by the competent authorities. It was also submitted that it has raised the constructions in accordance with the plans and conditions of the Environmental Clearance and consent orders and that it has not violated any of the conditions and has not caused any adverse impact on the ecology and environment of the area. It has denied the contention that its construction activity has blocked the Rajakaluves and has adversely affected the lake. It has already spent a sum of Rs 306.73 crores on the project towards procurement of men and materials, machinery, infrastructure, medical and sanitary facilities, etc. and that it has availed financial assistance from various banks and financial institutions towards the construction and execution of 12 the project and that various contracts have been signed with the third parties. It is specifically pleaded that the petition is barred by time and suffers from defects and laches.

14. Respondent No.10 pleaded that the applicants raised multifarious proceedings against it which is an abuse of the process of law and mala fide. It had submitted a revised proposal in respect of its project in question and to obtain fresh clearance on 31.08.2007 with an investment of Rs. 179.22 crores. The State High Level Committee had cleared the project which was communicated to it on 25.01.2008. Its properties are located in between Bellandur Lake and Agara Lake but there are no primary storm water drains and secondary storm water drains that exist in its properties. It has clearances from various authorities, including Environmental Clearance and consent for establishment.

15. KIADB stated that after possession of the land was handed over to respondent Nos. 9 and 10, one year time was granted for the implementation of the project which was extended from time to time. The building drawings were approved on 04.07.2007, and the modified building drawings were approved on 26.04.2011 and 30.08.2012 with specific conditions. In its meeting held on 16.07.2013, it was resolved to inform respondent No. 9 to fully comply with the Ecology and Environment Rules and to obtain approvals from the LDA and KSPCB. 13 LDA vide its letter dated 24.09.2013, had informed KIADB that the construction activity in the catchment area in the Bellandur Lake could drastically impact the Lake with deleterious effects and asked it to stop construction activity of respondent Nos. 9 and 10. However, the validity of the building drawings was again extended up to 10.08.2014. The Lokayukta on 17.12.2013 had written a letter in respect of complaint filed by the South East Forum for Sustainable Development where it had been averred that the decision had been taken by the Board on 21.12.2013 to keep in abeyance the approval accorded and even the re-validations of plans. This was also informed to respondent No.9. The Board took a decision which was communicated to respondent No.9 on 02.01.2014, wherein it asked the respondent No.9 to stop all construction activities on the allotted lands. The said communication was challenged by respondent No. 9 and on the stop-work notice, stay was granted by the High Court of Karnataka. The stop-work notice dated 23.12.2013 issued by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (for short ‘BBMP’) was also stayed vide order dated 21.01.2014. The proposal submitted by respondent Nos. 9 and 10 had been approved by the State Government. The land allotted to respondent Nos. 9 and 10 does not consist of any Rajakaluves. 14

16. The LDA took a stand that it was not at all aware of the project initiated by KIADB. It came to know about the entire project only when certain newspaper reports surfaced during the month of June, 2013 and till that time it was in the dark. After the complaints, it inspected the Bellandur Lake and the Agara Lake on 12.06.2013 and prepared an inspection report. In the report, it was noticed that large scale construction activities were going on in the catchment area of Bellandur Lake and that there was a change in the land use, which in turn has directly affected the catchment of Bellandur Lake. The wetland area of Agara Lake had also shrunk, which originally formed the irrigation area for the adjoining agricultural lands. Therefore, it had questioned the decision of KIADB vide letter dated 06.07.2013 and even requested it to stop the construction activity and to re-classify the land as non-SEZ area. It was thereafter on 31.08.2013, that respondent No. 9 wrote a letter for according approval for the proposed development projects. However, vide its letter dated 23.09.2013, LDA informed KIADB that it had no authority to grant or deny construction projects, but it also communicated its objections to KIADB mentioning that construction activity would be in contravention of the directions of the Supreme Court. Despite these warnings, KIADB granted approval to the extension of the building drawings of the project in favour of the project proponents with certain 15 conditions, like ensuring that all natural valleys, valley zone, irrigation tanks and existing roads leading to villages in the said land should not be disturbed. Further, the natural sloping pattern of the project site was not to be altered and the lakes and other water bodies within and/or at the vicinity of the project area should be protected and conserved. Despite the objections, the plans were approved and approvals were extended from time to time. It has taken a categorical stand that the projects as approved by the KIADB would have adverse impact on Bellandur and Agara Lakes.

17. On the basis of the pleadings of the parties, the Tribunal framed the following questions for consideration and determination: 1. Whether the application filed by the applicants and supported by respondent Nos. 11 and 12, is barred by time and thus, not maintainable? 2. Whether the petition as framed and reliefs claimed therein, disclose a cause of action over which this Tribunal has jurisdiction to entertain and decide the application under the provisions of the NGT Act, 2010? 3. Whether the present application is barred by the principle of res judicata and/or constructive res judicata? 4. Whether the application filed by the applicants should not be entertained or it is not maintainable before the Tribunal, in view of the pendency of the Writ Petitions 36567-74 of 2013, before the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka? and 5. What relief, if any, are the applicants entitled to? Should 16 or not the Tribunal, in the interest of environment and ecology issue any directions and if so, to what effect?

18. The Tribunal by its order dated 07.05.2015 at Annexure A-2, disposed of the applications with the following directions: 1) We decline to pass any direction or order to stop further progress and/or demolition of the project or any part thereof at this stage. However, we constitute the following Committee to inspect the projects in question and submit a report to the Tribunal inter alia but specifically on the issues stated hereinafter: a) Advisor in the Ministry of Environment and Forest dealing with the subject of wetlands. b) CEO of the Lake Development Authority, Karnataka State. c) Chief Town Planner of BBMP, Bangalore. d) Chairman of SEAC which recommended the grant of Environmental Clearance to the projects in question. e) Sr. Scientist (Ecology) from the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore. f) Dr. Siddharth Kaul, former Advisor to MoEF. g) A Senior Officer from the National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee. 2) Member Secretary of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board shall act as the Convener of the Committee and would submit the final report to the Tribunal. 3) The Committee shall inspect not only the sites where the projects in question are located but even other areas of Bangalore which the Committee in its wisdom may consider 17 appropriate, in order to examine the interconnectivity of lakes and impact of such activities upon the water bodies with particular reference to lakes. 4) The Committee shall submit whether the projects in question have encroached upon or are constructed on the wetlands and Rajakaluves. If so, are there any adverse environmental and ecological impact of these projects on the lake, particularly Bellandur Lake and Agara Lake, as well the Rajakaluves. The report should specify, if any Rajakaluves have been covered by the construction activities of respondent Nos. 9 and 10 or by any of the projects in the area in question. 5) Committee should submit in its report, if these projects have any adverse impacts upon the surrounding ecology and environment, with particular reference to lakes and wetlands. If yes, then whether any part of the project is required to be demolished. If so, details thereof along with reasons. 6) The Committee shall substantially notice if any of the conditions of the Environmental Clearance order in each case of respondent Nos. 9 and 10 have been violated. If so, to what extent and suggest remedial measures in that behalf to restore the ecology of the area. 7) The Committee would also recommend what should be the buffer zone around the lake(s) and interconnecting passages and wetlands. The Committee shall also report, whether activities of multipurpose projects which have serious repercussions on traffic, air pollution, environment and allied subjects should be permitted any further or not, 18 particularly, in wetlands and catchment areas of water bodies. 8) Recommendations should be made with regard to the steps and measures that should be taken for restoration of lakes, particularly in the city of Bangalore. 9) The Committee shall also find out that whether the construction of the projects is in accordance with the sanctioned drawings and bye-laws in accordance with the letters dated 4 th July, 2007 and 22nd April, 2008 respectively. Further, the Committee would also report whether both respondent Nos. 9 and 10 have installed ETP/STP and have taken full measures for recycling of used water for washing and flushing, etc. in terms of letters dated 11th October, 2013 and 3rd January, 2013, issued by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board to respondent Nos. 9 and 10 respectively. 10) In the event, the Committee is of the opinion that the adverse impacts noticed are redeemable, then what directions need to be issued in that behalf and the cost involved for achieving the said conservation and restoration of lakes and water bodies.

11) Till the submission of the report by the Committee and directions passed by the Tribunal in that regard, both respondent Nos. 9 and 10 are hereby restrained from creating any 3rd party interests or part with the possession of the property in question or any part thereof, in favour of any person.

12) The Committee shall submit its report to MoEF and to this Tribunal as expeditiously as possible and in any case 19 not later than three months from today. During that period we restrain MoEF, SEIAA and/or any public authority from sanctioning any construction project on the wetlands and catchment areas of the water bodies in the city of Bangalore.

13) The Committee shall report if the project proponents are proposing to discharge their trade or domestic effluents into the lake or any of the water bodies in and around of the area in question.

14) For the reasons stated in the judgment, respondent No. 9 is liable and shall pay a sum of Rs. 117.35 crores, while respondent No. 10 shall pay a sum of Rs. 22.5 crores respectively being 5 per cent of the project value, within two weeks from today. The said amount would be paid to the KSPCB, which shall maintain a separate account for the same and would spend this amount for environmental and ecological restoration, restitution and other measures to be taken to rectify the damage resulting from default and non–compliance to law by the Project Proponent in that area, after taking approval of the Tribunal.

15) We make it clear that the said respondents would not be entitled to pass on the amount in terms of direction 14, on to the purchasers because this liability accrues as a result of their own intentional defaults, disobedience of law in force and carrying on project activities and construction illegally and unauthorizedly. 20 19. Feeling aggrieved by the said order, respondent Nos. 9 and 10 filed Civil Appeal Nos. 4829 and 4823 of 2015 before this Court. This Court by its Order dated 20th May, 2015 passed the following order: “One of the main contentions raised by the Appellants in these Appeals is that though the Tribunal had heard the matter only on preliminary issues and no arguments on merit were advanced, final judgment decides the merits of the disputes as well and above all a penalty of Rs.117.35 crores against the original Respondent No.9 (the Appellant in C.A. No. 4832 of 2015) and Rs. 22.5 crores against Original Respondent No. 10 (the appellant in C.A. No. 4829/2015) is imposed. On the aforesaid averment, we feel that it would be more appropriate for the appellant to file an application before the Tribunal with the prayer to recall the order on merits and decide the matter afresh after hearing the counsel for the parties, as the Tribunal knows better as to what transpired at the time of hearing. With the aforesaid liberty granted to the petitioners, the appeals are disposed of. Certain preliminary issues are decided against the appellants which are also the subject matter of challenge. However, it is not necessary to deal with the same this stage. We make it clear that in case the said application is decided against the 21 appellants or if ultimately on merits, it would be open to the appellants to challenge those orders by filing the appeal and in that appeal all the issues which are decided in the impugned judgment can also be raised. The counsel for the appellants state that they would file the requisite application within one week. Till the said application is decided by the Tribunal, there shall be stay of the direction pertaining the payment of aforesaid penalty. Mr. Raj Panjwani points out that the Tribunal has allowed the appellants to proceed with the construction only on the payment of the aforesaid fine/penalty. We leave it to the Tribunal to pass whatever orders it deems fit in this behalf, after hearing the parties.” 20. In relation to Issue No.5, an opportunity of hearing was granted to the respondents. The Tribunal passed order dated 06.04.2016 on these applications as under: “M.A. No. 603 of 2015 and M.A. No. 596 of 2015 These Applications have been filed on behalf of the Respondent 9 & 10 respectively. It is not necessary for us to refer to any details in view of the directions that we propose to issue in this case. Without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties and subject to just 22 exception we would hear the parties in terms of the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India primarily on the question of imposition of Environmental Compensation and merits attached in relation thereto. Parties are given liberty to address their submissions on that behalf. With the above directions the M.A. No. 603 of 2015 and M.A. No. 596 of 2015 stand disposed of without any order as to cost.”

21. It is evident from the above orders that the Tribunal had granted opportunity to the parties to address it “limited question”, as aforementioned. The Tribunal after hearing the parties passed an order dated 04.05.2016 as under: “General Conditions or directions: 1. In view of our discussion in the main Judgment, we are of the considered view that the fixation of distance from water bodies (lakes and Rajkalewas) suffers from the inbuilt contradiction, legal infirmity and is without any scientific justification. The RMP – 2015 provides 50m from middle of the Rajkalewas as buffer zone in the case of primary Rajkalewas, 25m in the case of secondary Rajkulewas and 15m in the tertiary Rajkulewas in contradiction to the 30m in the case of lake which is certainly much bigger 23 water body and its utility as a water body/wetland is well known certainly part of wet land. Thus, we direct that the distance in the case of Respondents Nos. 9 and 10 from Rajkulewas, Waterbodies and wetlands shall be maintained as below:- (i) In the case of Lakes, 75m from the periphery of water body to be maintained as green belt and buffer zone for all the existing water bodies i.e. lakes/wetlands. (ii) 50m from the edge of the primary Rajkulewas. (iii) 35m from the edges in the case of secondary Rajkulewas (iv) 25m from the edges in the case of tertiary Rajkulewas This buffer/green zone would be treated as no construction zone for all intent and purposes. This is absolutely essential for the purposes of sustainable development particularly keeping in mind the ecology and environment of the areas in question. All the offending constructions raised by Respondents Nos. 9 and 10 of any kind including boundary wall shall be demolished which falls within such areas. Wherever necessary dredging operations are required, the same should be carried out to restore the original capacity of the water spread area and/or wetlands. Not only the 24 existing construction would be removed but also none of these Respondents – Project Proponent would be permitted to raise any construction in this zone. All authorities particularly Lake development Authority shall carry out this operation in respect of all the water bodies/ lakes of Bangalore. 2. The capacity of the existing STPs to treat sewage is 729 MLD, whereas another 500 MLD sewage is proposed to be treated in 10 upcoming STPs. In this context, all the STPs operating in the area whether Government or privately owned, should meet the revised standards notified by CPCB/MoEF. 3. Bangalore city receives treated potable water of 1360 MLD from river Cauvery whereas the requirement is for another 750 MLD and the entire area falls in critical zone in terms of ground water exploitation. Information reveals that only one million litre per month of STP treated water is used by builders for construction purposes. For this reason, the BWSSB issues partial NOC to various residential and commercial projects in respect of supply of potable water. In this context, following directions need to be issued: i. At the time of grant of EC, the water requirement for the construction phase 25 and operation phase should be considered separately. Due consideration should also be given for identification of source of supply of water and this should be a pre-requisite for grant of EC. ii. All the project proponents should necessarily use only treated sewage water for construction purpose and this should be reflected in EC as a condition for construction phase. iii. Wherever the quality of treated sewage water does not conform to the quality needed for construction, necessary upgradation in STP should be undertaken immediately. Specific Conditions/ Directions for Respondent 9; In addition to the above directions which should be equally part of EC condition in respect of respondents nos. 9 & 10, following specific conditions shall apply to respondent no. 9: i. Reclaimed area of the lake to the extent of 3 acres 10 guntas in survey No. 43 should be restored to its original condition at the cost of project proponent. The possession of this area should be restored by Respondent No. 9 to the concerned Authorities 26 immediately. In addition, a buffer zone of 75 m should be provided between the lake and the project area and this should be maintained as green area. ii. In the remaining area, where primary Rajkalewa is abutting the project area, 50 m buffer zone on the side of the project area from the edge of the rajkalewa should be maintained as green belt. iii. Several irrigation canals or tertiary rajkalewas taking off from the Agara tank were passing through the area of respondent No. 9, and serve the dual purpose of irrigating paddy fields and disposal of surface run off (storm water drains) during rainy season. However on account of the activities of the project, these drains have been totally obliterated. For the purpose of proper disposal of storm runoff from the entire area falling between the Agara lake and the Belandur Lake, respondent No. 9 must provide required number of storm water drains based on proper hydrological study. These storm drains should have a buffer zone of 15 m on either bank maintained as green belt. 27 iv. The cumulative quantity of earth excavated for the construction of project is around 4 lakhs cubic meters in the depth range of 0 to 9 meters. This has created huge hillock like structure obstructing the natural flow pattern of surface runoff from Agara Lake side to Balendur Lake side or primary Rajkalewas. For this purpose, during construction phase garland drain should be constructed around the existing dumping site for safe disposal of runoff to the Rajkalewas. For the disposal of excavated material, a proper muck disposal plan duly approved by SIEAA shall be prepared. In any case the plan should ensure that no muck/sediment flows into Rajkalewas and/or Belandur lake. v. The Kharab land identified by Revenue Dept. admeasuring 1 acre 2 guntas should be demarcated and maintained separately as green belt. vi. The entire green belt created under the directions of this Tribunal should not to be considered as part of green belt of the project as part of EC condition and will be over and above the green belt as indicated in the EC. 28 vii. In view of the heavy traffic load in the adjoining Sarjapur road, a proper study on the basis of traffic density,foot falls expected, etc., a proper plan needs to be prepared and the concept of service road exclusively for the project needs to be worked out and additional parking space created within the project area and incorporated as a part of the overall project layout, within a period of 3 months. 10. Though, at the time of hearing prior to passing the Judgment, we had heard the parties on all aspects but still we have provided re-hearing to the parties on all issues with emphasis on imposition of environmental compensation including the quantum. Upon hearing, we are of the considered view that environmental compensation imposed upon Respondent No. 9 calls for no variation and the Respondent No. 9 should be called upon to pay the said amount of Rs. 117.35 Crores determined under the Judgment prior to commencement of any project activity at the site. Respondent No. 10 has not commenced any actual construction activity but has carried out various preparatory steps including excavation and deposition of huge 29 earth by creating a hillock at the premises in question and a site office. Thus, considering cumulative effect on environment and ecology due to various breaches in that behalf by Respondent No. 10 and the fact that the remedial measures can more effectively be taken by the Respondent No.10, we reduce environmental compensation payable by Respondent No. 10 to Rs. 13.5 crores (3% of the stated project cost instead of 5% as imposed in the original judgment). General Directions: 1. We direct SEIAA, Karnataka to issue amended order granting Environmental Clearance within four weeks from today incorporating all the conditions stated in this judgement and such other conditions as it may deem appropriate in light of this judgment and Inspection Note of the Expert Members. The Project Proponents would be permitted to commence activity only after issuance of amended Environmental Clearance order. 2. SEIAA Karnataka and MoEF shall ensure regular supervision and monitoring of the project and during the construction and even upon completion to ensure that activity is carried out strictly in accordance with the conditions of the order granting Environmental Clearance, this Judgment, Notification of 2006 and other laws in force. 30 3. The distances in respect of buffer zone specified in this judgment shall be made applicable to all the projects and all the Authorities concerned are directed to incorporate such conditions in the projects to whom Environmental Clearance and other permissions are now granted not only around Belandur Lake, Rajkulewas, Agara Lake, but also all other Lakes/wetlands in the city of Bengluru. 4. We hereby direct the State of Karnataka to submit a proposal to the MoEF for demarcating wetlands in terms of Wetland Rules 2010 as revised from time to time. Such proposal shall be submitted by the State within four weeks from today and the MoEF shall consider the same in accordance with law and grant its approval or otherwise within four weeks thereafter. After such approval is granted by MoEF, the State would issue notification notifying such areas immediately thereafter in accordance with Rules and law. 5. Both the Respondents Nos. 9 and 10 shall ensure that debris or any construction material that has been dumped into the Rajkulewas, or on their Banks and on the buffer zone of wetlands should be removed within four weeks from today. In the event they fail to do so, the same shall be removed by the Lake Development Authority 31 along with the State Administration and recover charges thereof from the said Respondents. 6. There is a serious discrepancy even in regard to the measurement of land as far as Respondent No. 9 is concerned. Admittedly the Respondent has been allotted and is in possession of land admeasuring 63.94 acres, though Environmental Clearance has been granted for 2,92,636.03 Sq. Meters which is equivalent to 72.22 acres. For this reason alone, Environmental Clearance cannot be given effect to. While issuing the amended Environmental Clearance, SEIAA Karnataka shall take into consideration all these aspects and, if necessary, would require Respondent No. 9 to submit a fresh layout plant and the entire project may be revised in accordance with law. 7. Both the Respondents (Project Proponents) shall submit an appropriate plan in view of the conditions imposed in this judgment and the amended Environmental Clearance that would be issued. 8. The amount of environmental compensation will be deposited prior to issuance of amended Environmental Clearance. With the above directions, the Original Application No. 222 of 2014 and Misc. Applications Nos. 596/2016 and 603/2016 are 32 finally disposed of while leaving the parties to bear their own costs.” 22. Appearing for the appellants in C.A. No.5016 of 2016, Shri Mukul Rohatgi, learned senior counsel, has submitted that the State Government in exercise of the power conferred under the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Act (for short ‘KIAD Act’) declared the land in question as an industrial area. Thereafter, the land in question has been acquired by the State Government in the year 2004. Following the acquisition, on 28.06.2007, the land was allotted to the appellant by the KIADB. The SEIAA granted environmental clearance which was followed by public notice concerning clearance on 14.03.2012. Neither the allotment of land nor the environmental clearance was challenged before the Tribunal. Thus, none of the statutory decisions or processes, are the cause of action for the purpose of the application. The averments made in the original application does not satisfy or meet the requirements of Section 14(1) and (3) of the NGT Act and the original application does not spell out the cause of action relevant for the purpose of said provision. Since the statutory processes and clearances could not have been challenged for being hit by Section 14(3), the construction activities which were the alleged cause of action could not have been 33 challenged. Therefore, the Tribunal ought to have held that the application was not maintainable. 23. Further the application is barred by limitation. Though environmental clearance was granted on 17.02.2012 and it was published in two leading newspapers on 12.03.2012 and 14.03.2012, modified plan was approved by the KIADB on 30.08.2012, the application ought to have been filed within six months from the date on which cause of action for the dispute first arose in terms of Section 14 of the NGT Act. The present application has been filed in March, 2014 which was much beyond the prescribed period of limitation. No application seeking condonation of delay has been filed accompanying the application. Hence, the Tribunal ought to have dismissed the application on the ground that as it is barred by time. 24. It was also argued that buffer zone laid down by the NGT is substantially higher as compared to buffer zone which is required to be maintained as per the Revised Master Plan, 2015 issued on 22.06.2007. This is contrary to the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 1961 (for short ‘the Planning Act’). 25. Shri Neeraj Kishan Kaul and Shri R.Venkataramani, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants, in this case have also made similar submissions. It was argued that the direction imposing penalty/compensation is illegal on the ground that the applicants did 34 not allege that the construction work of the project has caused environmental wrong. No wrong or injury either to Bellandur lake water body or to Bellandur lake area, has been alleged and established. As such, there is no question of any enquiry relating to imposition of penalty or any compensation. 26. Shri Maninder Singh, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants, in C.A. Nos.5016 and 10995 of 2016, while supporting the submissions made by Shri Rohatgi, has submitted that the appellant has obtained sanction and approvals for the project from the competent authorities. It could not start construction despite grant of all the permissions, including environmental clearance as early as possible i.e. 30.09.2013. Hence, imposing penalty/compensation is entirely unsustainable. 27. Learned Advocate General, Shri Udaya Holla, appearing for the appellant-State of Karnataka in C.A.Nos.4923-4924 of 2017, has submitted that the State of Karnataka is also aggrieved by the order of the NGT to the extent of setting aside the buffer zone in respect of water bodies and drains specified in the Revised Master Plan, 2015, and enlargement of the buffer zone in respect of lakes and Rajakaluves. It is also aggrieved by the order of the NGT directing the 35 authorities to demolish all the offending constructions raised/built in the buffer zone, which will result in demolition of 95% of the buildings in Bengaluru. It is submitted that the Revised Master Plan is statutory in nature and NGT has no power, competence or jurisdiction to consider the validity or vires of any statutory provision/regulation. Therefore, the order of the NGT to that extent is liable to be set aside. 28. Learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants in other cases, have also supported the arguments of the learned Advocate General. It was contended that the Revised Master Plan provides for a 30 meters buffer zone around the lakes and a buffer zone of 50 meters, 25 meters and 15 meters from the primary, secondary and tertiary drains, respectively to be measured from the centre of the drain. Vide the impugned judgment, the NGT has revised these buffer zones and has directed that the buffer zone be maintained for 75 meters around the lake and 50, 35 and 25 meters respectively from the primary, secondary and tertiary drain, respectively. Variation of buffer zone, as directed by the NGT is without any legal and scientific basis and has the effect of amending the Revised Master Plan, 2015, without there being any challenge to the same or any relief sought with respect to the said Revised Master Plan. 29. On the other hand, Shri Sajan Poovayya, learned senior counsel, appearing for the applicants, has fairly submitted that the applications 36 were filed only against the appellants in C.A Nos. 5016 of 2016 and 8002-8003 of 2016 (respondent Nos. 9 & 10). He has no objection to set aside the order in so far as the appellants in other appeals including the State of Karnataka are concerned. He has also no objection to set aside the general conditions and directions of the NGT in paragraph (1) of the order dated 04.05.2016 except the directions issued against respondent Nos. 9 and 10. In view of the above, it is not necessary to examine the contentions of the learned Advocate General in Civil Appeal Nos. 4923-4924 of 2017. It is also not necessary to consider the contentions urged in the other civil appeals except the appeals filed by respondents Nos. 9 and 10. 30. Shri Poovayya has strongly opposed the submissions made by the learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants in C.A. No. 5016 of 2016 and C.A. Nos. 8002-8003 of 2016. It is submitted that the Tribunal is a specialized body for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment. The jurisdiction of the Tribunal is provided under Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the NGT Act. Section 14 provides for the jurisdiction over all civil cases where a substantial question relating to environment is involved. However, such question should arise out of implementation of the enactments specified in 37 Schedule I. The Tribunal has the jurisdiction under Section 15(1)(a) of the NGT Act to provide relief and compensation to the victims of pollution and other environmental damage arising under the enactments specified in Schedule I. Under Sections 15(1)(b) and 15(1) (c), the Tribunal can provide for restitution of property damaged and for restitution of the environment for such area or areas, as the Tribunal may think fit. Sections 15(1)(b) and 15(1)(c) have not been made relatable to enactment specified in Schedule I of the Act. Section 15(1)(c) is an entire island of power and jurisdiction read with Section 21 of the Act. He submits that whenever ecology is being compromised and jeopardized, the Tribunal can apply Section 20 for taking restorative measures in the interest of environment. The limitation provided in Section 14 is period of six months from the date on which cause of action first arose whereas in Section 15 it is five years. Therefore, the petition is not barred by time. 31. He has further submitted that the provisions of Section 33 shall have the effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other law for the time being in force. This gives the Tribunal overriding powers over anything inconsistently contained in KIAD Act, Planning Act, Revised Master Plan of Bangalore, 2015 and Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, 1976 (for short ‘KMC Act’). Therefore, the Tribunal while providing for restoration of environment in an area can 38 specify buffer zone around specific lakes and water bodies in contravention with zoning regulation. 32. Regarding limitation, he has submitted that the application filed by respondents 1 to 3 was not an application simplicitor under Section 14 of the Act. It was an application where a specific prayer has been made with reference to Lake Development Authority’s report dated 12.06.2013 and the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change Monitoring Committee report dated 14.08.2013 for restoration of ecologically sensitive land and for maintaining sensitive area in its natural condition so that ecological balance of the area is not disturbed. Therefore, the petition was under Section 15 of the Act and it can be filed within five years from the date on which the cause for such compensation or relief first arose. 33. It was further submitted that right to appeal under Section 22 is not a vested right unless provided by statute. Exercise of Appellate Jurisdiction without the fulfillment of statutory mandate would be without jurisdiction. Section 22 of the Act provides for an appeal on the ground specified in Section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (for short ‘the CPC’). Under Section 100 of the CPC, an appeal can be filed only on the ground that the case involves a substantial question of law as may be framed by the Appellate Court. In the instant case, the appeal does not involve any substantial question of 39 law hence it has to be dismissed in limine. He has taken us through various materials placed on record in order to substantiate that the direction passed and penalty imposed by the Tribunal upon to project proponents are sustainable. He prays for dismissal of the appeals. 34. We have carefully considered the submissions of the learned counsel of the parties and perused the materials placed on record. 35. Before considering the other contentions of the learned counsel for the parties, let us first consider the scope of enquiry in appeals filed under Section 22, which is as under: “22. Appeal to Supreme Court.- Any person aggrieved by any award, decision or order of the tribunal, may, file an appeal to the Supreme Court, within ninety days from the date of communication of the award, decision or order of the Tribunal, to him, on any one or more of the grounds specified in section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908): Provided that the Supreme Court may, entertain any appeal after the expiry of ninety days, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficience cause from preferring the appeal.” 36. It is settled that there is no vested right of appeal unless the statute so provides. Further, if a statute provides for a condition subject to which the appropriate Appellate Court can exercise jurisdiction, the Court is under an obligation to satisfy itself whether 40 the condition prescribed is fulfilled. Exercise of appellate jurisdiction without the fulfillment of statutory mandate would be without jurisdiction. Therefore, the right of appeal provided under Section 22 is to be read subject to the conditions provided therein. 37. Section 22 provides for an appeal to the Supreme Court on the grounds specified in Section 100 of the CPC. Under Section 100 CPC, an appeal can be filed only on the ground that the case involves a substantial question of law as may be framed by the Appellate Court. The scope of appeal under Section 22, therefore, is restricted to substantial question of law arising from the judgment of the Tribunal. The test to determine whether the question is substantial question of law or not was laid down by a Constitution Bench of this Court in Sir Chunilal V. Mehta and Sons, Ltd. v. Century Spinning and Manufacturing, 1962 Supp. (3) SCR 549. This Court has laid down the test as under: “The proper test for determining whether a question of law raised in the case is substantial would, in our opinion, be whether it is of general public importance or whether it directly and substantially affects the rights of the parties and if so whether it is either an open question in the sense that it is not finally settled by this Court or by the Privy Council or by the Federal Court or is not free from difficulty or calls for discussion of alternative views. If the question is settled by the highest court or the general principles to be applied in determining the question are well settled and there is a mere question of applying those principles or that the plea raised is 41 palpably absurd the question would not be a substantial question of law.” 38. It is equally settled that merely because the remedy of appeal is provided against the decision of the Tribunal on a substantial question of law alone, that does not ipso facto permit the appellants to agitate their appeal to seek re-appreciation of the factual matrix of the entire matter. The appellants cannot seek to re-argue their entire case to seek wholesale re-appreciation of evidence and the factual matrix that has been considered by the Tribunal is ex facie impermissible under Section 22. There cannot be fresh appreciation or re-appreciation of facts and evidence in a statutory appeal under this provision. 39. The first question raised by the learned counsel is in relation to the maintainability of the application before the Tribunal. 40. The Tribunal has been established under a constitutional mandate provided in Schedule VII List I Entry 13 of the Constitution of India, to implement the decision taken at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The Tribunal is a specialized judicial body for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment. The right to healthy environment has been construed as a part of the right to life under Article 21 by way of 42 judicial pronouncements. Therefore, the Tribunal has special jurisdiction for enforcement of environmental rights. 41. The jurisdiction of the Tribunal is provided under Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the Act. Section 14 provides the jurisdiction over all civil cases where a substantial question relating to environment (including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment) is involved. However, such question should arise out of implementation of the enactments specified in Schedule I. 42. The Tribunal has also jurisdiction under Section 15(1)(a) of the Act to provide relief and compensation to the victims of pollution and other environmental damage arising under the enactments specified in Schedule I. Further, under Section 15(1)(b) and 15(1)(c) the Tribunal can provide for restitution of property damaged and for restitution of the environment for such area or areas as the Tribunal may think fit. It is noteworthy that Section 15(1)(b) & (c) have not been made relatable to Schedule I enactments of the Act. Rightly so, this grants a glimpse into the wide range of powers that the Tribunal has been cloaked with respect to restoration of the environment. 43. Section 15(1)(c) of the Act is an entire island of power and jurisdiction read with Section 20 of the Act. The principles of sustainable development, precautionary principle and polluter pays, propounded by this Court by way of multiple judicial 43 pronouncements, have now been embedded as a bedrock of environmental jurisprudence under the NGT Act. Therefore, wherever the environment and ecology are being compromised and jeopardized, the Tribunal can apply Section 20 for taking restorative measures in the interest of the environment. 44. The NGT Act being a beneficial legislation, the power bestowed upon the Tribunal would not be read narrowly. An interpretation which furthers the interests of environment must be given a broader reading. (See Kishsore Lal v. Chairman, Employees’ State Insurance Corpn. (2007) 4 SCC 579, para 17). The existence of the Tribunal without its broad restorative powers under Section 15(1)(c) read with Section 20 of the Act, would render it ineffective and toothless, and shall betray the legislative intent in setting up a specialized Tribunal specifically to address environmental concerns. The Tribunal, specially constituted with Judicial Members as well as with Experts in the field of environment, has a legal obligation to provide for preventive and restorative measures in the interest of the environment. 45. Section 15 of the Act provides power & jurisdiction, independent of Section 14 thereof. Further, Section 14(3) juxtaposed with Section 15(3) of the Act, are separate provisions for filing distinct applications before the Tribunal with distinct periods of limitation, thereby amply 44 demonstrating that jurisdiction of the Tribunal flows from these Sections (i.e. Sections 14 and 15 of the Act) independently. The limitation provided in Section 14 is a period of 6 months from the date on which the cause of action first arose and whereas in Section 15 it is 5 years. Therefore, the legislative intent is clear to keep Section 14 and 15 as self contained jurisdictions. 46. Further, Section 18 of the Act recognizes the right to file applications each under Sections 14 as well as 15. Therefore, it cannot be argued that Section 14 provides jurisdiction to the Tribunal while Section 15 merely supplements the same with powers. As stated supra. the typical nature of the Tribunal, its breadth of powers as provided under the statutory provisions of the Act as well as the Scheduled enactments, cumulatively, leaves no manner of doubt that the only tenable interpretation to these provisions would be to read the provisions broadly in favour of cloaking the Tribunal with effective authority. An interpretation that is in favour of conferring jurisdiction should be preferred rather than one taking away jurisdiction. 47. Section 33 of the Act provides an overriding effect to the provisions of the Act over anything inconsistent contained in any other law or in any instrument having effect by virtue of law other than this Act. This gives the Tribunal overriding powers over anything inconsistent contained in the KIAD Act, Planning Act, Karnataka 45 Municipal Corporations Act, 1976 (“KMC Act”); and the Revised Master Plan of Bengaluru, 2015 (“RMP”). A Central legislation enacted under Entry 13 of List I Schedule VII of the Constitution of India will have the overriding effect over State legislations. The corollary is that the Tribunal while providing for restoration of environment in an area, can specify buffer zones around specific lakes & water bodies in contradiction with zoning regulations under these statutes or the RMP. 48. The second question raised by the appellants is that the petition is barred by time. According to appellants, environmental clearance was granted to the respondent No. 9 on 17.02.2012 for which notice was published in the leading newspaper on 12.03.2012 and 14.03.2012. Modified building plan was approved on 30.08.2012, which was followed up to 10.08.2014. Similar events had taken place in regard to the project of respondent No. 10 who had been granted environmental clearance on 30.09.2013. The application had to be filed within a period of six months from the date on which cause of action for such dispute has first arisen in terms of Section 14 of the NGT Act. Admittedly, the present application has been filed in March, 2014 and according to them, it is much beyond the prescribed period of limitation. Also, there is no application for 46 condonation of delay accompanying the main application. Therefore, the Tribunal will not have jurisdiction to condone the delay. 49. The OA No. 222 of 2014 was not an application simpliciter under Section 14 of the Act. It was an application where a specific prayer has been made with reference to Lake Development Authority’s (“LDA”) Report dated 12.06.2013 and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (“MoEF”) Monitoring Committee Report dated 14.08.2013 for restoration of ecologically sensitive land and for maintaining the sensitive in its natural condition so that the ecological balance of the area is not disturbed. It is clear from the documentary evidence supported by data, that the project proponents have committed breaches and the implementation of the project is bound to have serious adverse impact on the ecology, hydrology and the environment in the catchment area of Bellandur Lake. The environmental degradation as established from the documents would give rise to an independent cause of action. Therefore, this was a petition under Section 15 of the Act and thus it could be filed within 5 years from the date on which the cause for such compensation or relief first arose. 50. In fact, in the original application before the Tribunal there was no mention of the provision under which it was being filed. It is well settled principle of law that non-mention of or erroneous mention of the provision of law would not be of any relevance, if the Court had the 47 requisite jurisdiction to pass an order. It would be a mere irregularity and would not vitiate the application or the judicial order of the Tribunal. 51. Shri R. Venkataramani, learned senior counsel, appearing for the appellant in CA No.5016 of 2016 has submitted that the constructions had not commenced before the grant of environment clearance. The inspection report dated 11.01.2012 of the Chairman of the KSPCB observes that “no construction” had commenced on the date of inspection. This report cannot be overlooked on the basis of some dumping of debris which could not be attributed to the appellant. He has pointed out the report of the Committee appointed by the Tribunal in the month of August 2015, wherein it was stated that “it started construction after obtaining clearance”. In this regard he has also taken us through various documents placed on record and submits that there is absolutely no justification in imposing monitoring penalty/compensation without assessment of impact. 52. The Tribunal has pointed out on the basis of the Committee report of August 2015, that the appellant had encroached 3 acres 10 guntas of Bellandur Lake and a boundary wall has been raised around the said land. The Tribunal has also found that the project proponents have violated the Master Plan. They have not obtained the mandatory clearance from the Sensitive Zone Committee constituted 48 by the Government of Karnataka. It is also clear from the materials on record that there are several other violations by the project proponents. The Tribunal has discussed all these issues from para 52 onwards. It is also clear from the materials on record that there is a definite possibility of environment, ecology, lakes, and wetland being adversely affected by these projects. That is why, the Tribunal has observed as under: “72.

In light of the above scope of the project and records before the Tribunal and the defaults on the part of the Project Proponents, the cumulative adverse effects of the activities undertaken by the respondents before us can be summed up as under:

1) The construction of both the projects had started prior to the grant to Environmental Clearance.

 2) The EIA Notification of 2006 requires that without grant of Environmental Clearance, no project can commence its activity. This restriction applies not only to operationalization of the project but even for the purposes of establishment.

3) Revenue Map images shows multiple Rajakaluves flowing through the project(s) in question. The images further show encroachment on Rajakaluves. 49

4) Digital images of the land available on Google satellite images showing encroachment on two major Rajakaluves.

5) Google Satellite images retrieved from Google archives clearly reflect two distinct features. Firstly, change in the wetland area between the period of 13th November, 2000 and 23rd November, 2010. Secondly, it reveals the excavation work carried out by Respondent Nos. 9 and 10 commenced prior to obtaining Environmental Clearance.

6) Restriction in regard to extraction of ground water was not strictly complied with as permission of Central Ground Water Authority was not obtained before construction.

7) The conditions with regard to the natural slopping pattern of the project site to remain unaltered and natural hydrology of the area to be maintained as it is, to ensure natural flow of storm water as well as in relation to Lakes and other water bodies within and/or at the vicinity of the project area to be protected and conserved: The inspection report by the MoEF clearly notes that condition nos. (xxxix) and (xl) in the Environmental Clearance of respondent no. 9 cannot be complied with as it will necessarily result in some alteration of the natural slopping pattern of the project site and the natural hydrology of the area. It noted that the project 50 area is located in the catchment area of the Bellandur Lake and the project authorities have informed that they will take all precautionary measures to ensure that the lake will not be affected by project activities either during construction or operation phase.” 53. In paragraph 81, the Tribunal has observed as under: “81. …………Another very important aspect which cannot be overlooked by the Tribunal is with regard to the respondent nos. 9 & 10 carrying on their project activity fully knowing that they were incapable of or it was not possible for them to comply with condition no. xxxix and xl (or alike conditions) in the order granting the Environmental Clearance. This has even been noticed by the MoEF in its monitoring report dated 14th August, 2013. These respondents never applied for variation or amendment of these conditions and continued with their construction activities. This renders these respondents entirely liable for environmental and ecological damage and the restoration and restitution thereof.” 54. In our view, the findings arrived at by the Tribunal are not only based on the documents that were available on record but also on the pleadings that were made by the parties buttressed by the Committee’s report and the inspection note of the Expert Members. 51 Therefore, the directions passed and the penalty imposed by the Tribunal on both project proponents are valid and sustainable and do not suffer from any perversity. 55. We are also of the view that it is impermissible for the appellants to seek a factual review through the methodology of re-appreciation of factual matrix by this Court under Section 22 of the NGT Act. 56. Shri R.Venkataramani, learned senior counsel has also raised a subsidiary issue relating to res judicata. According to him, respondent Nos. 12 and 13 filed Writ Petition Nos.3656-57/2013 seeking similar reliefs in a representative capacity. The issues raised therein are same as those canvassed in the application before the Tribunal. The reliefs sought for are essentially the same. Hence, the applications are barred by the principle of res judicata. 57. The Tribunal has answered this issue in paragraphs 47 to 51 of the order. There was no dispute in so far as filing of the writ petitions is concerned. However, the parties are not common nor the issues in application and the writ petitions are directly and substantially the same. After examination of the pleadings, the Tribunal has recorded a finding of fact that there is no commonality of a cause of action or likelihood of a conflict between the judgments. The prayers and the geneses of the respective proceedings are entirely distinct and different in their scope and relief. The issues before the 52 Tribunal would essentially relate to environment ecology and its restoration while the proceedings before the High Court relate to entirely different issues with acquisition of land, its allotment and transfer to the third party. These issues in both the proceedings are neither substantial nor materially identical. 58. After elaborately considering this question, the Tribunal has concluded as under: “51. ….For these reasons, we find no merit in this contention of respondent Nos. 9 and 10. The purpose of the doctrine of res judicata is to provide finality and conclusiveness to the judicial decisions as well as to avoid multiplicity of litigation. In the present case, the question of re-agitating the issues or agitating similar issues in two different proceedings does not arise. The ambit and scope of jurisdiction is clearly decipherable. The jurisdictions of the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka and this Tribunal are operating in distinct fields and have no commonality in so far as the issues which are raised directly and substantially in these petitions, as well as the reliefs that have been prayed for before the Hon’ble High Court and the Tribunal are concerned. There is no commonality in parties before the Tribunal and the High Court. The ‘cause of action’ in both proceedings is different and distinct. The matters 53 substantially and materially in issue in one proceedings are not the same in the other proceeding. There is hardly any likelihood of conflicting judgments being pronounced by the Tribunal on the one hand and the High Court on the other. Therefore, we are of the considered view that the present applications are neither hit by the principles of res judicata nor constructive res judicata. We also hold that culmination of proceedings before the Tribunal into a final judgment would not offend the principle of ‘judicial propriety’, because of the Writ Petitions pending before the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka.” 59. We do not find any error in the aforesaid conclusion of the Tribunal. We are of the view that the Tribunal was justified in holding that the objections taken by the respondent Nos. 9 and 10 do not satisfy the basic ingredients to attract the application of res judicata or constructive res judicata. 60. The State of Karnataka is aggrieved by the following offending portion of the order dated 04.05.2016: “

1. In view of our discussion in the main Judgment, we are of the considered view that the fixation of distance from water bodies (lakes and Rajkalewas) suffers from the inbuilt contradiction, legal infirmity and is without any 54 scientific justification. The RMP – 2015 provides 50m from middle of the Rajkalewas as buffer zone in the case of primary Rajkalewas, 25m in the case of secondary Rajkulewas and 15m in the tertiary Rajkulewas in contradiction to the 30m in the case of lake which is certainly much bigger water body and its utility as a water body/wetland is well known certainly part of wet land. Thus, we direct that the distance in the case of Respondents Nos. 9 and 10 from Rajkulewas, Waterbodies and wetlands shall be maintained as below:- (i) In the case of Lakes, 75m from the periphery of water body to be maintained as green belt and buffer zone for all the existing water bodies i.e. lakes/wetlands. (ii) 50m from the edge of the primary Rajkulewas. (iii) 35m from the edges in the case of secondary Rajkulewas (iv) 25m from the edges in the case of tertiary Rajkulewas This buffer/green zone would be treated as no construction zone for all intent and purposes. This is absolutely essential for the purposes of sustainable development particularly keeping in mind the ecology and environment of the areas in question. 55 All the offending constructions raised by Respondents Nos. 9 and 10 of any kind including boundary wall shall be demolished which falls within such areas. Wherever necessary dredging operations are required, the same should be carried out to restore the original capacity of the water spread area and/or wetlands. Not only the existing construction would be removed but also none of these Respondents – Project Proponent would be permitted to raise any construction in this zone. All authorities particularly Lake development Authority shall carry out this operation in respect of all the water bodies/ lakes of Bangalore.” 61. We have already noticed that Shri Poovayya has no objection to set aside the aforesaid impugned portion of the order in so far as the appellants in all the appeals except the appeals filed by respondent Nos.9 and 10. The aforesaid portion of the order contains not only general directions but also certain directions against respondent Nos. 9 and 10. Therefore, only that portion of the order which does not pertain to respondent Nos. 9 and 10 needs to be quashed. 62. In the light of the above discussion,

we pass the following order:

 i) Civil Appeal No. 5016 of 2016 and Civil Appeal Nos. 8002-8003 of 2016 filed by the 56 appellants/respondent nos. 9 and 10 are hereby dismissed. The impugned judgment and order in so far as appellants/respondent Nos. 9 and 10 are concerned is sustained.

 ii) All the other appeals are hereby allowed and the direction/condition No. (1) in the order dated 4.5.2016 is hereby set aside except the direction issued against respondent Nos. 9 and 10. 63.

 There will be no order as to costs. …………………………………

J. (A.K. SIKRI) …………………………………

J. (S. ABDUL NAZEER) …………………………………

J. (M.R. SHAH)

March 5, 2019.

BBMP proposes to issue A Katha for B Katha properties – A Press Report


BBMP will issue A Katha to eligible B Katha properties across 110 villages amalgamated into erstwhile BMP, thus facilitating over few lakh property owners to obtain building plans and housing loan, but with a rider.

The details are awaited.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/cheer-for-owners-as-karnataka-is-set-to-regularise-b-khata-properties/articleshow/65586717.cms

BANK AUCTION PROPERTIES


There is an opportunity to buy properties, attached/seized by the Banks and are being e-auctioned or auctioned by the Banks.

Buyers are required to obtain diligent title or opinion on the properties, check with the chartered engineers about the quality and above all, check the compliance to the prevailing laws.

Bank Sanction of loans or approval or properties attached may or may not have good titles and irregularities are noticed in innumerable cases.

The buyers MUST NOT BE UNDER THE OPINION OR FEELING OR CONCEPT that the bank attached and auctioned properties have good title and compliance, therefore, it is strongly advised to obtain the legal opinion.

BDA PROPERTY AT BANASHANKARI 2ND STAGE ON 80 FEET ROAD IS FOR SALE-4,000 sft Site and 4,000 sft building


BDA allotted site with 4000 Square feet of site and 4000 sft building constructed on it, situated on 80 feet road, in Banashankari 2nd Stage, Bangalore is for SALE by the OWNER.

Original Owner.

Clear Titles.

Up to date tax paid.

Latest Katha Certificate and Extract in the name of the owner.

50 Feet X 80 Feet-4,000 Square feet of site or land.

West Facing.

4000 Square Feet of 15 to 20 years old, but well maintained building.

Genuine Buyers with good financial standing may contact:

NO AGENTS AND NO BROKERS. DIRECTS BUYERS ARE PREFERRED.

ecopackindia@gmail.com

ecopackindia@yahoo.com

ecopackindia@live.com

BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS-2019-20


Highlights Of Interim Budget 2019-20

The key highlights of the Interim Budget 2019-20 presented by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal in Parliament today are as follows:

New Announcements

v  Farmers

·         12 crore small and marginal farmers to be provided with assured yearly income of Rs. 6000 per annum under PM-KISAN

o   Outlay of Rs. 75,000 crore for FY 2019-20 with additional Rs. 20,000 crore in RE 2018-19

·         Outlay for Rashtriya Gokul mission increased to Rs 750 crore

·         Rashtriya Kamdhenu Ayog  to be setup for sustainable genetic up-gradation of the Cow resources

·         New separate Department of Fisheries for welfare of 1.5 crore fishermen

·         2% interest subvention to Farmers for Animal husbandry and Fisheries activities; additional 3% in case of timely repayment.

·         Interest subvention of 2% during disaster will now be provided for the entire period of reschedulement of loan

v  Labour

·         Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan scheme to ensure fixed monthly pension to 10 crore unorganized sector workers

o   Rs 3000 per month after 60 years of age with an affordable contribution of only Rs 100/55 per month

v  Health

·         22nd AIIMS to be setup in Haryana

v  MGNREGA

·         Rs. 60, 000 crore allocation for MGNREGA in BE 2019-20

v  Direct Tax proposals

·         Income upto Rs. 5 lakh exempted from Income Tax

·         More than Rs. 23,000 crore tax relief to 3 crore middle class taxpayers

·         Standard Deduction to be raised to Rs. 50,000 from Rs. 40,000

·         TDS threshold to be raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 40,000 on interest earned on bank/post office deposits

·         Existing rates of income tax to continue

·         Tax exempted on notional rent on a second self-occupied house

·         Housing and real estate sector to get boost-

o   TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent to be increased from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs. 2,40,000

o   Benefit of rollover of capital gains increased from investment in one residential house to two residential houses for capital gains up to Rs. 2 crore.

o   Tax benefits for affordable housing extended till 31st March, 2020 under Section 80-IBA of Income Tax Act

o   Tax exemption period on notional rent, on unsold inventories, extended from one year to two years

v  Fiscal Programme

·         Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.4% of GDP for 2019-20

·         Target of 3% of fiscal deficit to be achieved by 2020-21.

·         Fiscal deficit brought down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from almost 6% seven years ago

·         Total expenditure increased by over 13% to Rs.27,84,200 crore in 2019-20 BE

·         Capital Expenditure for 2019-20 BE estimated at Rs. 3,36,292 crore

·         Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) allocation increased to Rs. 3,27,679 crore in BE 2019-20

·         National Education Mission allocation increased by about 20% to Rs. 38,572 crore in BE 2019-20

·         Allocation for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) increased by over 18% to Rs. 27,584 crore in BE 2019-20

·         Substantial increase in allocation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes –

o   Allocation for SCs increased by 35.6% – from Rs. 56,619 crore in BE 2018-19 to Rs. 76,801 crore in BE for 2019-20

o   Allocation for the STs increased by 28% – from 39,135 crore in BE 2018-19 to Rs. 50,086 crore in 2019-20 BE

·         Government confident of achieving the disinvestment target of 80,000 crore

·         Focus now on debt consolidation along with fiscal deficit consolidation programme

v  Poor and Backward Classes

·         “First right on the resources of country is that of the poor”: FM

·         25% additional seats in educational institutions to meet the 10% reservation for the poor

·         Targeted expenditure to bridge urban-rural divide & to improve quality of life in villages

·         All willing households to be provided electricity connections by March 2019

v  North East

·         Allocation to be increased by 21% to Rs. 58,166 crore in 2019-20 BE over 2018-19 BE

·         Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently

·         Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram came on India’s rail map for the first time

·         Container cargo movement through improved navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra

v  Vulnerable sections

·         A new committee under NITI Ayog to identify all the remaining De-notified nomadic and semi-Nomadic tribes.

·         New Welfare development Board under Ministry of social justice and empowerment for development and welfare of De-notified nomadic and semi nomadic tribes

v  Defence

·         Defence budget to cross Rs 3,00,000 crore for the first time ever

v  Railways

·         Capital support of Rs.64,587 crore proposed in 2019-20 (BE) from the budget

·         Overall capital expenditure programme to be of Rs. 1,58,658 crore

·         Operating Ratio expected to improve from 98.4% in 2017-18

                                                                             to 96.2% in 2018-19 (RE) and

                                                                             to 95% in 2019- 20 (BE)

v  Entertainment Industry

·         Indian filmmakers  to get access to Single window clearance as well for ease of shooting films

·         Regulatory provisions to rely more on self-declaration

·         To introduce anti-camcording provisions in the Cinematograph Act to control piracy

v  MSME and Traders

·         2% interest subvention on an incremental loan of  Rs 1 crore for GST registered SMEs

·         Atleast 3% of the 25% sourcing for the Government undertakings will be from women owned SMEs

·         Renewed Focus on Internal trade ; DIPP renamed to Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal trade

v  Digital Villages

·         The Government to make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years

v  Other Announcement(s)

·         New National Artificial Intelligence portal to support National Program on Artificial Intelligence

Achievements during 2014-19

v  State of the Economy

·         India universally recognized as a bright spot of the global economy during last five years

·         “Country witnessed its best phase of macro-economic stability during 2014-19”, says FM

·         India is now the 6th largest economy in the world from being the 11thlargest in 2013-14

·         Annual average GDP growth during 2014-19 higher than any government since 1991

·         Government has broken inflation’s back from backbreaking inflation during 2009-14: FM

·         Average inflation down to 4.6%, lower than during any other Government

·         Inflation in December 2018 down to 2.19% only

·         Fiscal deficit down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from the high of almost 6% seven years ago

·         CAD likely to be only 2.5% of GDP this year against a high of 5.6% six years ago

·         India attracted massive amount of FDI, worth $239 billion, during the last 5 years

·          “India is solidly back on track and marching towards growth and prosperity”, says FM

·         India becomes the fastest growing major economy in the world

·         Double-digit inflation contained and fiscal balance restored

·         Liberalization of FDI policy, allowing most FDI to come through the automatic route

v  Farmers

·         Assured MSP of minimum 50% to all 22 crops

·         Interest subvention doubled in last 5 years

·         Soil Health card, Neem coated Urea game changer in farm sector

v  Labor

·         Employment opportunities expanded ; EPFO membership increased by 2 crore

·         Minimum income for every category of workers increased by 42% in last 5 years

v  Poor and Backward Classes

·         10% reservation for the poor  in educational institutions and government jobs

·         Free electricity connection to every household under Saubhagya Yojana

·         World’s largest healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat, for nearly 50 crore people

·         Aspirational Districts Programme for development in 115 most backward districts

·         Rs. 1,70,000 crore spent during 2018-19 for cheaper food grains to poor and middle class

·         143 crore LED bulbs provided in mission mode with the cooperation of private sector

·         Poor & middle class are saving Rs. 50, 000 crore p.a. in electricity bills due to LED bulbs

·         10 lakh patients benefited from free treatment under Ayushman Bharat

·         Jan Aushadhi Kendras providing medicines at affordable prices to poor and middle class

·         14 out of 21 AIIIMS operating presently have been announced since 2014

·         Government tripled rural roads’ construction under the PMGSY

·         15.80 lakh habitations out of 17.84 lakh connected with pucca roads

·         Rs. 19,000 crore for PMGSY in BE 2019-20 against Rs. 15,500 crore in RE 2018-19

·         1.53 crore houses built under PM Awas Yojana during the 2014-18

v  Women development to women led development

·         6 crore free LPG gas connections provided under Ujjwala Yojna ; All 8 crore by next year

·         70% of MUDRA Loan availed by Women

·         Maternity leave extended to 26 weeks

·         Financial support for pregnant women under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana

v  Youth

·         Over one crore youth trained under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikash Yojana

·         Self-employment boost through MUDRA, STAND-UP and START-UP India

v  MSME and Traders

·         Up-to Rs 1 crore loans can be availed in less than an hour

·         25%-28% is the average savings due to GeM (Government e-Market place)

v  Income Tax

·         Tax collections nearly doubled in five years- from Rs. 6.38 Lakh crore in 2013-14 to almost Rs. 12 lakh crore this year

·         80% growth in tax base- from 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore in five years

·         Tax administration streamlined- Last year, 99.54% of the income-tax returns accepted as were filed

·         Technology intensive project approved to improve assessee friendliness –In two years, returns to be processed in 24 hours and refunds issued simultaneously

·         Earlier benefits given to middle class-

o   Basic exemption limit increased from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh

o   Tax rate reduced from 10% to 5% for the tax slab of Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh

o   Standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 introduced for the salaried class

o   Deduction of savings under section 80C increased from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh

o   Deduction of interest for self-occupied house property raised from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh

·         Special benefits and incentives already given to small businesses and startups-

o   Overall compliance processes simplified.

o   Threshold for presumptive taxation of business raised from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2 crore

o   Benefit of presumptive taxation extended for the first time to small professionals fixing threshold limit at Rs. 50 lakh

o   Presumptive profit rate reduced from 8% to 6% to promote a less cash economy

o   Tax rate for about 99% companies reduced to 25%

v  GST

·         GST made India a common market

·         GST led to increased tax base, higher collections and ease of trade

·         Inter-state movements now faster, more efficient, and hassle free

·         Responsive and sensitive reduction of tax rates – Most items of daily use now in the 0% or 5% tax slab

·         Relieving the businesses and service providers-

o   Exemptions from GST for small businesses doubled from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 40 lakh

o   Small businesses having turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crore pay only 1% flat rate and file one annual return only

o   Small service providers with turnover upto Rs.50 lakhs can opt for composition scheme and pay GST at 6% instead of 18%

o   Soon, businesses comprising over 90% of GST payers to be allowed to file quarterly return

·         Encouraging GST revenue trends – The average monthly tax collection in the current year is Rs. 97,100 crore per month as compared to Rs. 89,700 crore per month in the first year

v  Infrastructure

·         Civil Aviation – UDAN Scheme

o   Number of Operational Airports crossed 100

o   Latest: Pakyong airport in Sikkim

o   Domestic Passenger traffic doubled in last 5 years

·         Roads

o   India is the fastest highway developer in the world

o   27 kms of highways built each day

o   Stuck projects completed – Eastern Peripheral Highway around Delhi

                                                  – Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh

·         Waterways

o   Flagship programme of Sagarmala along the coastal areas

o   For first time, container freight movement started on Kolkata to Varanasi inland waterways

·         Railways

o   ‘Safest year’ for railways in its history

o   All Unmanned Level Crossings on broad gauge network eliminated.

o   Semi high-speed “Vande Bharat Express” introduced – first indigenously developed and manufactured

v  Climate Change

·         International Solar Alliance

o   To promote renewable energy

o   First treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India

o   Installed solar generation capacity grown over ten times in last five years

o   Now creating lakhs of new age jobs

v  Digital India Revolution

·         More than 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) exist to deliver services to the citizens

·         India now leading the world in the consumption of mobile data

·         Monthly consumption of mobile data increased by over 50 times in the last five years

·         Under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing companies increased from 2 to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities

v  Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) and Direct Benefit Transfer

·         In the last five years, nearly 34 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts opened

·         Aadhaar now near universally implemented

·         Ensure the poor and middle class receive the benefits of Government schemes directly in their bank accounts by eliminating middlemen

v  Customs and trading across borders

·         Customs duties on 36 capital goods abolished

·         Digitization of import and export transactions

·         RFID technology to improve logistics

v  Steps against corruption

·         Government walked the talk on corruption and ushered in a new era of transparency: FM

·         RERA and Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act have brought transparency in real estate

·         The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 to help confiscate economic offenders

·         Government conducted transparent auction of natural resources such as coal & spectrum

v  Drive against Black money

·         Undisclosed income of about Rs 1,30,000 crore brought under tax through initiatives like Black money Law,  Fugitive Criminal offenders Act, Demonetisation etc.

·         Benami assets worth Rs 6,900 crore have been attached

·         18% growth in Direct tax

v  Banking Reforms and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)

·         The IBC has institutionalized a resolution-friendly mechanism

·         Government has stopped the culture of “phone banking”: FM

·         Government adopted 4Rs approach of recognition, resolution, re-capitalization & reforms

·         Government has implemented measures to ensure ‘Clean Banking’

·         Government has already recovered Rs. 3 lakh crore in favor of banks and creditors

·         Government has invested Rs. 2.6 lakh crore for recapitalization of public sector banks

v  Cleanliness

·         Government launched Swachh Bharat Mission as a tribute to 150 years of Gandhi Ji

·         FM thanks 130 crore Indians for translating Swachh Bharat into a national revolution

·         India has achieved 98% rural sanitation coverage

v  5.45 lakh villages have been declared “Open Defecation Free”

v  Defence

·         OROP under implementation in full spirit with Rs 35,000 crore already disbursed

·         Military pay service hiked

v  Other achievements

·         Government put a stop to questionable practices of hiding high NPAs

·         Swachh Bharat Mission as the world’s largest behavioral change movement

Key message in the Interim Budget 2019-20

·         Moving towards realizing a ‘New India’ by 2022 –

o   Clean and healthy India with universal access to toilets, water and electricity to all

o   An India where Farmers’ income would have doubled

o   Ample opportunities to youth and women to fulfil their dreams

o   An India free from terrorism, communalism, casteism, corruption and nepotism

Vision for the next Decade

·         Foundation for India’s growth and development laid in the past 5 years

·         Poised to become a Five Trillion Dollar Economy in the next five years

·         Aspire to become a Ten Trillion Dollar Economy in the next 8 years thereafter

Ten dimensions of Vision for India of 2030

India would be a modern, technology driven, high growth, equitable and transparent society

1.      To build physical as well as social infrastructure and to provide ease of living

2.      To create a Digital India, digitize government processes with leaders from youth

3.      Making India pollution free by leading transport revolution with Electric Vehicles and focus on Renewables

4.      Expanding rural industrialisation using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment

5.      Clean Rivers, safe drinking water to all Indians and efficient use of water through micro-irrigation

6.      Besides scaling up of Sagarmala, Coastline and Ocean waters powering India’s development and growth

7.      Aim at our space programme – Gaganyaan, India becoming the launch-pad of satellites for the World and placing an Indian astronaut into space by 2022

8.      Making India self-sufficient in food, exporting to the world to meet their food needs and producing food in the most organic way

9.      A healthy India via Ayushman Bharat with women having equal rights and concern for their safety and empowerment

10.  Transforming India into a Minimum Government Maximum Governance nation with pro-active and responsible bureaucracy