Roads are not private property: HC

Residents and owners of plots in a particular layout cannot claim exclusive use of roads and common areas in it, the High Court has said. It dismissed a petition by the residents of Classic Orchards Layout, Bannerghatta Road, who wanted to restrain the general public from using roads in the layout, and said that once a layout is formed, the roads in it would automatically come under the respective municipal corporation and the general public have the rights to enter and exit them.

The Classic Orchards Property Owners Association and three other individual residents of the area approached the High Court against the BBMP, BDA, a couple of developers and a few residents of neighbouring areas. They had earlier approached a single-judge bench of the High Court which had dismissed their petition on August 17, 2016. Their appeal was heard by the division bench of Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice Budihal RB.

The Classic Orchards Layout was formed at a time when the property was within panchayat limits. The plan was sanctioned and houses and buildings came up. In 2007, the area came under the municipal corporation. The builder then relinquished certain common areas in favour of the Bangalore Development Authority as per the Bangalore Development Authority Act and the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act.

The site owners and residents wanted to prevent the use of the roads by others. The HC said the simple question in the case was “Whether the owners of the plots in the layout are entitled to the exclusive use of the roads and common areas in the layout?”

The HC noted that the BBMP had published a notification “stating that there has been no concept of ‘gated community,’ and once a layout has been formed, the roads in the said layout automatically would come under the respective municipal corporation, and the general public would have free ingress and egress to the roads within the layout.”

Dismissing the petition, the HC, however, upheld the rights of the house and plot owners in free access. The judgement also pointed out that “We, therefore, clarify that the use of the roads by outsiders other than the plot owners must not cause any hindrance to the free ingress and egress to those roads by the plot owners.”

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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