HC verdict in plea against BMTF action reserved

HC verdict in plea against BMTF action reserved

The High Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking to stay the action initiated against some of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) engineers and officers by the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF).

During the hearing, the counsels for the petitioners submitted that BMTF had no powers to initiate action against the government servants.

Stating that it had no jurisdiction and was not a police station, the petitioners submitted that there was no provision under the law to punish the officials.

Noting that it is just a tug of war between IAS and IPS officers, the petitioners submitted that one of them is an ex-commissioner of BDA and BBMP.

However State Public Prosecutor (SPP) Dore Raju submitted that the jurisdiction of BMTF is unambiguously clear in the law and pointed out that since its inception in 1996, it has entertained countless complaints of unauthorised constructions, encroachment of government land and violations of building bylaws and is conducting inquiries into them.
“A charge sheet has been filed in about 300 cases and they are now under investigation. At this juncture, the accused, including several assistant executive engineers and assistant engineers and others, have filed this petition seeking to stay and stall the investigation. Stay of investigation or quashing cannot be done unless there is abuse in process of law and blatant violation,” he said.

Hamper the investigation

Noting that the stay will hamper the investigation, the SPP said investigation was necessary to prevent incidents of building collapse like the one in Someshwaranagar, which resulted in the death of innocent people.

Noting that powers are delegated to the BMTF by the government under Sections 66 and 67 of the Karnataka Municipal Council (KMC) Act, 1976 and KMC rules, 1977, the SPP submitted that under Section 2 (s) of the Criminal Procedure Code, BMTF is a police station like any other. Justice K N Keshavanarayana has reserved the judgment.

Licence cancellation

The High Court has referred back to the State government, the matter pertaining to cancellation of licence for organ transplantation at Fortis Hospital. Accordingly, the Division Bench headed by Justice N Kumar directed the government to issue show cause notice to the hospital by October 3 and complete the investigation within ten weeks thereafter.

The Commissionerate of Health and Family Welfare and Ayush has cancelled the organ transplantation licence of the Fortis Hospital on September 12, 2011 after it found the hospital had performed a pancreas transplant without valid licence.  The transplantation was conducted on Seema Rai, who died at the hospital on May 6, 2010. Pankaj Rai, the husband of the patient, had alleged that the hospital did not possess valid licence to conduct transplantation of pancreas and that his wife had died of medical negligence.
The hospital had approached the court challenging the cancellation of licence.

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