Grant to mutt, land to trust: Karnataka HC converts PIL into suo moto petition – Deccan Herald

The Karnataka High Court has converted a public interest litigation into a suo moto PIL challenging the grant of Rs 5 crore by the state government to ‘Ganiga Mutt’ and eight acres of land to the ‘Ganiga Samudaya Trust’. Advocate Vidyulatha has been appointed as amicus curiae by the division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Ashok N Kinagi.
The petition was filed by one N Hanumegowda who was directed by the court to hand over all the documents related to it to the amicus curiae within two weeks. The HC has already issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka; Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban, Revenue Department; and B J Puttaswamy, president of ‘Vishwa Ganigara Samudaya Trust’.
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Puttaswamy was the political secretary to then chief minister B S Yediyurappa when the Trust was sanctioned eight acres of land in Nagaruru village in Bengaluru North taluk in 2011. The same year, the state budget sanctioned Rs 5 crore for the ‘Ganiga Gurupeeta’. The petition alleged that Puttaswamy used his influence with the Chief Minister to get these two grants sanctioned.
Puttaswamy had filed a defamation case against Hanumegowda and the latter was convicted for it. Since he had not disclosed this issue in his PIL, the HC had imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on him in 2020. On Friday, his advocate said the fine amount would be paid through cheque. The court recorded this submission before turning the PIL into a suo moto PIL and appointing the amicus curiae to help the court.
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