Jamma Bane row: Experts feel new Bill lacks clarity
The BJP leaders in Kodagu are busy congratulating themselves on their ‘feat’ in solving the long-pending Jamma Bane land problem. However, experts feel that the new legislation passed by the Karnataka Assembly recently has instead added to the existing confusion.
One of Bangalore’s leading advocates, K. Sarojini Muthanna, has opined that the newly passed the Karnataka Land Revenue (Third Amendment) Bill, 2011, has proved to be a great disappointment to the people of Kodagu who were looking forward to a legislation which would save their traditional Jamma land tenure system.
“It has on the other hand served not only to disintegrate the Jamma tenure but also the joint families of Kodagu,” she added.
According to her, except for burdening the people with further payment of revenue to the government, the new amendment has the effect of disintegrating the Jamma land tenure and breaking up joint families by the unbridled sale and disposal of family lands “resulting in infringement by the Government of the Kodava community’s right to preserve their culture and traditions which is a fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution.”
Ms. Muthanna has suggested that the government should carry out further amendments to the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964, devoting a separate chapter for the Jamma lands of Kodagu.
She said until the above amendments are brought about, the operation of the Karnataka Land Revenue (Third Amendment) Bill, 2011, be suspended without giving effect to the same.
Another expert, Mr T.C. Thammaiah, retired Tashildar, was of the view that the amendment was pushed through in haste.
According to him, the amendment lacks clarity and there is a lot of ambiguity. “This would definitely lead to further clarifications and further amendments.”
The retired Tashildar has expressed the view that those who drafted the amendment Bill have failed to recognize the fact that apart from Jamma Bane lands, there are other types of Banes and ‘Hithlu’ lands.
Importantly, Mr Thammaiah says that the latest amendment has not specified timber rights of the Jamma Bane land owner.
EDITOR’S VIEW: The way the legislation was passed in the Assembly without much debate, gives the impression that the people’s representatives from Kodagu were not interested in solving the problem of the Jamma lands, but only trying to score political brownie points.
As pointed out by the experts, the legislation was a badly drafted one which will not stand legal scrutiny.
The people’s representatives in Kodagu should come to a consensus on the issue and bring in a legislation which would find a lasting solution to the problem.