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Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Dinesh Maheshwari and S. Sujatha, JJ. dismissed a writ appeal assailing the order of learned Single Judge whereby a change in khata entries of private respondent’s property was quashed.

Respondents’ grievance before the Single Judge was that in terms of duly approved plan, regular khata entries were made but the same was changed by appellant and Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) for non-compliance of conditions of approval of layout plan by the developer. Further, the appellant had unilaterally assumed that the properties purchased by them from builder were not approved by the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA).

The Court noted that the change in khata entries was made without affording a hearing to the respondents. It was observed that unless a reasonable opportunity of hearing is provided to the affected parties, any tinkering of civil rights accrued to them which results in adverse consequences to them could not be approved. Thus, it was held that the PDO had to necessarily adhere to the principles of natural justice.

The appeal was disposed of confirming the impugned order and the appellant was directed to restore khata entries in favour of the respondents. However, an opportunity was provided to the appellant/ competent authority to hold an enquiry and take a final decision in the matter after providing an opportunity of hearing to the private respondents.[State of Karnataka v. Bharatamma, 2018 SCC OnLine Kar 2728, decided on 17-12-2018]