'Why waste public money on cases pending for ages'

'Why waste public money on cases pending for ages'

The High Court on Friday asked the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) why it was wasting public money on lawyers representing it in various petitions pending before lower courts for years. 

Hearing a suo motu petition on noise pollution and a related matter on building bylaw violations, the court asked the BBMP counsel what the lawyers appearing for the Palike in the Karnataka Appellant Tribunal (KAT) were doing. 

A division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice B V Nagarathna came down heavily on the counsel for the BBMP and asked why non-maintainable suits before civil courts had not been disposed of. “What are the advocates waiting for? If they are not working, they should be removed. Public money must not be wasted on those persons who are not performing their duties,” the bench observed. 

The Amicus curiae, Shashikiran Shetty, informed the court that 1,624 cases were pending before the KAT since 2003 and that no stay or status quo orders had been issued in at least 576 cases. The bench directed the counsel for the BBMP to get the head of the Palike’s legal cell appear before the court in the next hearing on April 1. 

Amicus Curiae for the suo motu petitioner on noise pollution, B V Vidyulatha, submitted that motorists sound horn not just due to traffic but also because animals are let loose on roads. The bench then remarked that Bangalore was the most polluted and dirtiest city which also faced water scarcity now. 

The court asked the BBMP why it was not able to take action, and give necessary instructions to the police and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to reduce noise levels. It observed that any infrastructure project must be planned for the next half century and not just for the next six months. 

RTE admission

The High Court on Friday ordered that notices be issued to Srivani Education Centre, Bangalore, as well as the State government on a petition by 14 toddlers whom the institution denied admission to Lower Kindergarten (LKG) under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. 

Justice Ananda Byrareddy gave the order on a petition by D Ashish Birav and 13 other toddlers. The petitioners stressed that they belonged to the backward classes, and the selection committee had recommended their names to the Block Education Officer (BEO). But the school principal did not take any action and denied them admission to the LKG under the RTE Act. 

The petitioners have also contended that the said school had not been categorised as a linguistic minority institution by the competent authority, hence it could not deny admission. 

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