Petitions seeking reservation and allotment of sites at concessional rates for persons with disabilities

June 1, 2017
LITIGATION
Disability Rights

These petitions were filed against the Bangalore Development Authority (“BDA”) and the State of Karnataka through the Department of Urban Development, for failing to provide reservation in allotment of sites and the grant of sites at concessional rates to persons with disabilities.

The BDA issued a Notification dated 14.10.2015 announced the allotment of 5000 residential sites in Kempegowda Layout, Bangalore. In its Notification it had reserved only 1% of these 5000 sites for persons with disability. Challenging this Notification, a public interest litigation was filed by CLPR on behalf of the Karnataka Rajya Vikalachethanara Rakshana Samithi in W.P. No. 33085/2016, seeking for reservation of 3% of sites and the allotment of sites at 50% concessional rates for persons with disabilities.

Section 43 of the PWD Act mandates that appropriate governments and local authorities would frame schemes in favour of persons with disabilities for preferential allotment of land at concessional rates for housing, setting up business, setting up special recreational centres, establishment of special schools, establishment of research centres and establishment of factories.  Following Section 43, the Karnataka Government inserted Rule 28A in the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) [Karnataka] Rules, 2003 which provided an identical mandate and stated that 3% of sites would be reserved for persons with disabilities by all urban development authorities and they would be granted at concessional rates..

After notice was issued to the BDA in this PIL, the BDA revised the reservation and reserved and allotted 3% of the sites for persons with disabilities. Out of 5000 sites, 146 sites were allotted to persons with disabilities, which is the first time that this many people with disabilities have been allotted sites in any development in Karnataka.

However, it did not grant any concessional rates for them. Aggrieved by this, 5 separate writ petitions by five allottees with disabilities were filed, seeking that the sites be given to them at 50% concessional rate and with the additional time of 3 years to make payment as was being provided to other categories of persons such as SC, ST and persons from economically backward sections under the BDA Act and Rules.

The Karnataka High Court issued notice to the BDA in all these petitions and the BDA and the State Government filed their Statement of Objections to these petitions. The Government adhered to its stand that the BDA should provide concessional rates for allotment. The BDA has been asked by the Hon’ble High Court to come up with a scheme for concessions. In the meantime, the Karnataka High Court has issued an interim order directing that no further payment would be demanded by the BDA from the petitioners who are all allottees with disabilities and the matter has now been posted for final hearing. The PIL is also pending before a Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court.