BBMP escapes contempt case with compliance of HC order

The Palike submitted an affidavit in court along with newspaper ad clippings on paying compensation to pothole vicitms. DH file photo

A day after facing high court’s wrath over non-compliance of its order in a case concerning the pothole menace, the civic body managed to avoid contempt proceedings by taking urgent remedial action the night before.

Even before the bench led by Chief Justice Abhay S Oka could begin proceedings on Thursday, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) made a submission before the court officer about complying with the previous order.

The advocate for the civic body K N Puttegowda filed an affidavit stating that an advertisement has been issued in major newspapers on paying compensation for deaths and injuries caused by pothole-related accidents in the city.

The affidavit, accompanied by the relevant newspaper clippings, also stated that the BBMP had withdrawn its council resolution involving mayor, deputy mayor, leader of opposition and chairmen of various standing committees which the court saw as a tactics to delay compensations.

The affidavit also said the civic body has complied with the orders of the division bench despite challenging it in the Supreme Court.

Hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) regarding the pothole issue, Chief Justice Abhay S Oka examined the BBMP affidavit and decided not to proceed with the contempt case for now.

“It is the duty of the local body to comply with the order rather than discuss it in their own capacity. The mayor should have more concern about the citizens before the court intervened on the same,” he said, adding that the civic body should curb such tendencies.

The court noted that the civic body should pay reasonable compensations on its own in cases where citizens are injured or die due to poor road conditions.

“The court passed the order on October 9 to publicise the disbursement of compensation but the authority defied it. Court showed leniency. After that, during the next hearing too, compliance was not reported. The BBMP could have challenged the order and sought time,” he said.

He said the mayor and deputy mayor should be more concerned about the safety of citizens. “The court cannot be a silent spectator. No action is being taken against the BBMP for the time being. But we wish to invest time on solving the prime issue and compliance of all directions,” Chief Justice Oka said.

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