Judicial Layout: HC directs survey

 Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and a contempt plea by the members of Judicial Layout Association, a division bench headed by Justice Ram Mohan Reddy ordered an inspection by BBMP authorities on June 29. The Association has moved the High Court alleging that  the CA sites are being sold despite the court ordering status quo.

The petitioners had filed a PIL in 2002, stating that the authorities were selling the civic amenities sites. The Court had ordered a status quo and a contempt petition was filed by the Association again stating that the status quo order has been violated by the authorities.

The Court had sought the records for verification. After going through the records, the BBMP has been directed to conduct survey of all the CA sites, open spaces and parks on June 29 in the presence of all the parties. The BBMP has also been directed to file a report by July 10 in this connection.

Cross verification directed

The High Court has directed the City police to verify the statistics submitted to the Court by the Empire Group of Hotels claiming that it was catering to Non Resident Indians (NRI).

During the hearing of the petition, the counsel for the Hotel Group said that the two units of the Group at Central and Church Street were hubs for NRIs and said that they need to cater to them during the late hours. The petitioner informed that 1,663 NRIs visited the restaurant on Central Street in 2007-08 and 1,440 NRIs in 2008-09 whereas the Church street restaurant hosted 2,360 NRIs during 2007-08 and 1,797 NRIs in 2008-09.

The police said that not more than 24 persons had dined at these hotels between 12 midnight and 4 am, everyday during the period from  January 1, and 19th June, 2009. The Court directed the police to cross verify the statistics submitted.

It may be recalled that the City Police on May 19, 2009 had fixed the deadline for eateries and hotels in the City.

The Empire Hotel Group, which runs a hotel chain in the City had challenged the direction before the High Court stating that the Police commissioner had no such power under the law or rules to impose such deadlines, because only the government can exercise such power. 

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