Close down BBMP if you can't act against erring officials: HC to Palike chief

Close down BBMP if you can't act against erring officials: HC to Palike chief
The High Court of Karnataka on Monday wondered whether any BBMP commissioner in the last five years had gathered courage to suspend subordinates for dereliction of duty.

Censuring BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad, who was present before the court for a hearing, Justice Raghvendra S Chauhan said that if the Palike chief was unable to take action against erring officials, it was better to close down the civic body. The commissioner disagreed and submitted that action had been taken against non-performing officials and criminal procedures started in works related to stormwater drains.

The judge was hearing a petition filed by Palladium Constructions Pvt Ltd against the BBMP for not granting it partial occupancy certificate. Justice Chauhan asked why the commissioner didn’t take stringent action against officials who failed to do their duty. He said there was no need of officials who sit and get paid but do not discharge their duty. He condemned the way the BBMP is carrying out eviction drives without giving enough time to encroachers. “We are living in a democratic way of administration and not in the British era of colonisation (sic),” the judge remarked.

Referring to a large number of cases pertaining to the BBMP pending before the high court, Justice Chauhan advised the civic body to strengthen its legal team by hiring young lawyers. He suggested that the BBMP devise a mechanism to settle cases out of court by establishing a settlement committee in three months. The BBMP should try to prevent such cases from reaching the high court, he added.

The commissioner replied that the BBMP was in the process of developing software to handle matters of illegal construction, khata distribution, illegal advertisements and sanctioning building plan. The software is expected to be launched in four months, he said.
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