HC asks state to clarify on M’luru Smart City MD matter

Conflict of interest: HC asks state to clarify on Mangaluru Corporation commissioner as Smart City MD

Representative image. Credit: iStockPhoto

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday directed the state government to submit whether it wants to continue with the practice of appointing Commissioner of Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) as the managing director of Mangaluru Smart City Limited. The court said it is a conflict of interest when the commissioner also holds the charge as managing director of Smart City Limited.  

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka was hearing a batch of PILs on the solid waste management in various cities and towns. In relation to the incident at the landfill site in Pacchanadi in Mangaluru, the Commissioner of MCC Akshay Sridhar was present during the hearing.

The court asked the commissioner to respond on action he would propose to take for violation of Construction and Demolition Waste Rules by the Smart City Ltd. The commissioner said he would ask the contractors to stop the work if they do not follow the rules. However, the commissioner said that the contractors have now applied for authorisation. He further stated that infrastructure to enable Smart City to comply with the rules was not available.

“Smart City Limited is set up by the state government. If the commissioner of municipal corporation is given charge of managing director of the said company, there is every possibility of conflict of interest. The state will make a statement before the court whether it wants to continue with the practice of appointing commissioner of Corporation as the managing director of the Smart City Ltd,” the bench said.

The court said that if Smart City Ltd carries out some illegal work, it is the responsibility of the commissioner to take action under Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act 1976. “If he (Commissioner) continues to hold both the posts, he will have to initiate action against the company of which he is the managing director. The state government has to respond on this by next week,” the bench said.