Buffer zone violation: HC refuses stay on proceedings

Buffer zone violation: HC refuses stay on proceedings

If stay is granted, then it would impair and scuttle the investigation, says court

Buffer zone violation: HC refuses stay on proceedings

The High Court on Tuesday refused to stay the proceedings against the engineers booked by Bangalore Metropolitan Task For­ce (BMTF)  for allowing construction on buffer zones around stormwater drains.

Justice Anand Byrareddy refused to grant stay on the proceedings initiated against, T Nataraj – Joint Director, BBMP Town Planning (North), Chowde Gowda – retired director of Town and Country Planning  and Mohammed Abdul Azeem – retired Assistant Executive Engineer (PWD) and directed them to cooperate with the investigation. The judge recorded the statement of the government counsel stating that if stay is granted on the proceedings, then it would impair and scuttle the investigation. The judge said that the petitioners will not be arrested till the investigation is completed.

The petitioners, Nataraj and Gowda, have been booked for allowing construction in the buffer zone in Bilekahalli, and Azeem for allowing construction in Nayandahalli.

The petitioners have contended that they have visited the spot and have verified that they have not allowed any construction in the buffer zone and that they cannot be booked under Section 420 of IPC which talks about cheating.

The government counsel sought four weeks’ time to submit the investigation report of Nataraj and Gowda and the judge adjourned the hearing of Azeem’s petition to August 25.

Recommendations on penalty
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Tuesday informed the High Court that it will submit recommendations to the state government to prescribe the quantum of penalty/punishment under Section 321B of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976.

Section 321 B penalty talks about the penalty against jurisdictional officers failing to prevent unauthorised deviations or constructions, but does not prescribe the quantum of penalty or  punishment.

Following directions by the High Court in the previous hearing to submit a list of erring officials who had issued sanctioned plan, commencement order, possession certificate without verifying whether the building is being constructed or a stormwater drain or not, government counsel Sreenidhi V appearing for BBMP submitted details of the FIR filed by Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF).

Justice L Narayanaswamy directed BBMP to produce the government notification with respect to the amendment of the bye-laws and adjourned the next hearing after a month.

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