High Court summons Palike officials over encroachment of SWDs 

The High Court on Tuesday directed the BBMP commissioner and others to be present before it on Thursday after it found the Palike’s advocates were not present during the hearing of a PIL seeking the removal of encroachment on stormwater drains in Pulikeshinagar.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice Ram Mohan Reddy, which had adjourned the matter for the same reason on Monday, lashed out at the civic body.

The court said, “How will we hear the matter if neither the officials nor the advocates appear before the court? We will issue summons and we can even issue warrant.”

It warned the BBMP counsel orally after he appeared before the court later.
K N Puttegowda, the counsel for BBMP, submitted that the civic body’s legal cell had been revamped and the case list did not have the names of the counsels to appear for cases.

He said that the vakalath had not been filed in the matter. Puttegowda assured the court that the counsels would appear from the next date of hearing. However, V J Benjamin, the counsel for the petitioners, objected to it stating that it was not true. The vakalath had already been filed in the matter, he said.

The petitioners - Udaya Shankar, a Right to Information (RTI) activist and others - have moved the court seeking the clearance of encroachment of SWDs. Stating that a complaint was lodged with BBMP and Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF), Benjamin contended that the BBMP had not taken any action, though the BMTF directed BBMP officials to conduct an inspection and file a report.

The petitioners pointed out that the SWDs were choked due to encroachment and they overflowed during rain with garbage. They sought the removal of the encroachment.

NBW quashed

The High Court has quashed the non-bailable warrant (NBW), issued by a City court, against Bollywood actor Poonam Pandey.

Following a complaint by Umesh S, a city-based advocate, the 6th ACMM court had issued an NBW against her last year.

Umesh, in his complaint, referred to one of her pictures in which she was shown hugging a picture of Hindu deities. The petitioner contended that her action had hurt the religious sentiments of people.

Challenging the warrant in the High Court, Pandey contended that no due procedure was followed by the court while issuing the NBW. She said that there was no such instance of hurting religious sentiments of people as the picture in question was created by mischief mongers. Justice A N Venugopala Gowda quashed the NBW.

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