Single court will hear all cases of flex banners: HC

Single court will hear all cases of flex banners: HC

High Court of Karnataka

The High Court of Karnataka has expressed shock over a magistrate's decision to hear a criminal case about the assault on BBMP officers and workers on August 18 instead of on August 13 as stipulated by it. 

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari expressed disappointment on Tuesday while hearing a batch of petitions over the removal of flex banners in Bengaluru. 

In its order, the court said it was surprised to learn the prosecution allowed the matter to be listed for hearing on August 18 when it had specifically directed on August 10 that the magistrate take it up on a daily basis starting August 13 and the same was directed in the presence of the public prosecutor. 

The censure prompted the advocate general to submit that a special public prosecutor has been appointed who would make specific submissions to the magistrate later in the day (on Tuesday) itself. The court reiterated that the matter should be concluded preferably by the end of this month. 

The advocate general submitted that out of the 223 criminal cases for offences under the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1981, charge sheets had been filed in 200 cases before different courts. 

The high court stated that all such matters should be taken up in a single court and asked the chief metropolitan magistrate to pass an order in this regard on his discretion. 

The high court also clarified that the 10th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate would continue to hear the assault case and shall pass orders for transferring the 200 cases to another court for expeditious proceedings that should be concluded preferably by the end of August. 

In the order, the court said it "would expect all the concerned to contribute their respective part constructively so as to ensure achieving the desired results for not only removing the flexes but to also ensure Bengaluru city to achieve its objective of becoming flex-free, poster-free and plastic-free". 

The court also asked the BBMP counsel to submit the videography of the present position of the city. 

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