Govt restores BMTF powers

Govt restores BMTF powers

Home dept strikes down earlier notification clipping its wings

 The State government has restored a majority of the powers that the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) was divested of recently.

On February 2, the Urban Development Department (UDD) had issued a notification stating that the BMTF will have no powers to probe cases under the KMC Act, BDA Act, BWSSB Act, Karnataka Slum Areas Act, Karnataka Land Revenue Act, Mysore Inam Abolition Act, BMRDA Act and the Karnataka SC/ST (Prohibition of Transfer of Certain Lands) Act, 1978, thus reducing the task force to a toothless agency.

The reason for clipping the wings was quite obvious as the task force had caused embarrassment to three ministers, Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy, BDA and BBMP officials in connection with various cases. However, a notification dated February 6 issued by the Home Department, while restoring a majority of the powers, states that the BMTF will be empowered to take up cases under certain sections of the Indian Penal Code. This notification will shortly be gazetted.

The two notifications pertaining to the BMTF mirror the lack of coordination between the Urban Development Department and the Home Department.

The latest notification issued by the Home Department is  ‘in supersession of all the earlier notifications issued in this behalf.’

It is said that there was strong disagreement among the officials of the two departments and the Home Department was worried that the notification issued by the UDD had many shortcomings which may not stand legal scrutiny.

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