HC wants specific date from Palike on footpath clearance

HC wants specific date from Palike on footpath clearance

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday took the Palike to task asking it to file an affidavit as to the exact date by which all encroachments on footpaths would be cleared.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice R B Budihal, was hearing a PIL petition by Jennifer Pinto and others, seeking directions to ensure safe and scientific footpaths for pedestrians. During the hearing, the BBMP, when questioned on the steps taken to clear encroachment on footpaths and whether they have been cleared completely, submitted that all encroachments had been cleared.

The bench then questioned the BBMP on the map of the City with footpath encroachments being cleared as directed earlier. When the civic authority replied in the negative, the bench warned of contempt action against the authorities for not complying with the orders.

When the bench questioned the petitioners about the BBMP’s submission, counsel for petitioner, Ajesh Kumar, produced the map of the City with encroachments on footpaths alleging that the BBMP had filed a false affidavit. He also produced photographs and locations of encroachments.

“Don’t your commissioner and engineers see these encroachments or do they have a sight problem?” bench said.

The petitioners further pointed out that the affidavits filed by the BBMP were misleading as they claim to have cleared encroachments, but do not furnish any specific instances. The bench then directed the BBMP to file an affidavit along with the list of encroachments.
The bench also directed the BBMP to respond to the photographs furnished by the petitioners contradicting the BBMP’s claim of clearing encroachments.
The BBMP has also been told to inform the court about the specific date to repair footpaths and provide details regarding foundations for advertisement hoardings on footpaths and its new advertisement policy.

Commissioner summoned

In connection with another petition by Namma Bangalore Foundations and Rajya Sabha Member Rajeev Chandrashekar, the court directed the BBMP commissioner to appear before it on November 5.

The bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice R B Budihal directed the BBMP and the police to disclose the complaint, FIR copy and the investigation made in connection with the drowning of two children due to the recent floods.
The bench was unhappy  with the BBMP when it found that no advocate was representing it despite notice being served on it.

In another case, Justice Ram Mohan Reddy, chided the BBMP commissioner, who appeared before it, in connection with a petition by Prakash Chandra following a plea regarding building bylaws violations.

Justice Reddy told the commissioner to initiate action to ensure that building construction in the City was in accordance with the plan and houses being constructed were as per sanctioned plan, and to make sure that the Palike engineers do not collude with building owners in violation of the norms.

Amanath Bank case

The High Court on Tuesday wondered why a criminal case has not been filed against Amanath Bank authorities, who have been accused of swindling crores of rupees of depositors’ money.

During the hearing of an appeal by senior Congress leader C K Jaffer Sharief challenging the merger order of Amanath Bank with Canara Bank by the High Court, a division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice R B Budhihal said that despite crores of rupees deposited in the bank being misappropriated, not a single arrest had been made. The bench also questioned the authorities as to who prevented them from filing an FIR.

When the court was informed that no complaint had been registered in this connection, the bench expressed its surprise over it.

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