Palike failure to deposit beggar cess draws flak from High Court

The CRC runs rehabilitation centres for beggars across the State.

Hearing a PIL by Somashekar, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Ashok Hinchigeri lashed out at the BBMP saying that it acted like a trustee by collecting the beggars’ cess. However, now it was doing exactly what Justice Soumitra Sen did by collecting the public money and utilising it to meet its own needs.

The Bench noted that over Rs 30 crore collected between 1976 and 2009 by the Palike was yet to be deposited with the CRC.
Coming down heavily on the Palike, the Bench strictly directed it to deposit the amount collected as beggars’ cess to the Central Relief Committee in two weeks, failing which it will have to face severe consequences.

The petitioner in his submission has stated that the Palike through a notification dated August 1976 started collecting one percent as beggars’ cess along with Property Tax. The cess thus collected has to be deposited with the Central Relief Committee. For the period between 1976 and 2009, the Palike collected around Rs 74 crore. However, so far it has deposited only Rs 44. 3 crore.

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