Task Force books 12 cases against Palike engineers

Officers accused of not acting on plaints against building plan violation

Task Force books 12 cases against Palike engineers

The Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) has registered 12 suo motu cases against engineers attached to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for their inaction on complaints against building plan violations.

The cases were registered recently against several executive engineers, assistant executive engineers and assistant engineers — whose names have not been disclosed — for sitting on complaints filed by individuals on building plan violations committed by their neighbouring site owners.

The aggrieved residents had written to the jurisdictional BBMP engineers to stop illegal construction of houses.

Subsequently, the engineers served notices to the owners to construct buildings adhering to the sanctioned plan, but they did not pursue the case, thus allowing the buildings come up. Later, the aggrieved parties approached the BMTF for relief and the agency initiated criminal action against the engineers.

Of the 12 cases, one is related to Damodar Singh, a resident of HIG, 2nd Stage of KHB Colony in Basaveshwara Nagar. He prayed before the BMTF that the engineers did not act on his complaint on the building plan violation by the owner of a site next to his house.

The building owner reportedly constructed five floors on a 1,200 sq ft site (30ft x 40ft) and also did not leave any setbacks prescribed in the sanctioned plan.

The BMTF then wrote to the zone-level joint commissioner of the BBMP to act on the complaint, who forwarded the letter to the divisional and ward-level engineers.
Subsequently, the engineers issued notices to the plan violator.

As per rule, the engineers have to act within a month and seven days on complaints, and in this duration, they have to issue three notices. If the building owner fails to fall in line, his property could be seized.

The engineers again sat on the notices, compelling the BMTF to register cases against them under Section 218 of the Indian Penal Code, which reads: “Whoever, being a public servant, and being as such public servant, charged with the preparation of any record or other writing, frames that record or writing in a manner which he knows to be incorrect, with intent to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, loss or injury to the public or to any person, or with intent thereby to save, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby save, any person from legal punishment, or with intent to save, or knowing that he is likely thereby to save, any property from forfeiture or other charge to which it is liable by law, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.”

The cases were registered after a magisterial court gave the BMTF the go-ahead. So far, the court has given permission for 12 cases while 16 more are said to be pending before it.

Since the charges framed against the engineers are bailable and cognisable in nature, only the court can grant permission to the investigating authority to register cases.

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