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HomekarnatakaKarnataka High Court asks BBMP to credentialise documents like khata

Karnataka High Court asks BBMP to credentialise documents like khata

Bengaluru: The High Court of Karnataka directed the BBMP and the authorities of E-governance and DigiLocker to formulate a mechanism to credentialise all documents issued by the civic body. Justice Suraj Govindaraj passed the order after coming across several litigation questioning the validity and genuineness of the ‘khata’ issued by the BBMP.

The court directed the BBMP Chief Commissioner, Principal Secretary of E-governance and the concerned authority of DigiLocker to formulate a suitable mechanism and file a compliance report on January 4.

Justice Suraj Govindaraj said that in this day and age when services like DigiLocker are available and documents can be verified on the basis of a QR code, it is high time that the BBMP implemented a system of digitising and credentialising all the documents it issues, “including but not limited to a khata certificate, plan sanction, tax paid receipt, SAS tax paid receipt etc., so that the QR code is also printed” to verify the authenticity.

The court was hearing a petition by B K Sharmada, a resident of Banashankari, who challenged the endorsement issued by the Assistant Revenue Officer (ARO), Padmanabhanagar. The officer had rejected the request to enter her name in the khata claiming that a couple had objected to it stating they had the right, title and interest in the property.

The court noted contradictions in the submission made by the civic agency and the objectors. While the corporation maintained that objections were received, the counsel for the objectors submitted that no objections were filed but it was a suo motu endorsement issued based on the documents available with the BBMP.

“This is not a stray case where a khata certificate issued by the BBMP has been objected to on the grounds that it is not genuine,” the HC said. Such allegations have serious connotations in both civil and criminal law. Thus, when such allegations are made, there must be a system put in place by the BBMP to ensure the veracity of the document by a third party, including a court of law before which it is produced, it said.

The court directed the ARO to consider the application submitted by the petitioner in terms of the registered release deed issued by her parents so as to carry out the necessary changes in khata within 30 days.

(Published 20 December 2023, 01:15 IST)

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