The High Court took a swing at apathetic mandarins by asking whether Secretaries were busy playing golf to get relief from the summer heat.

This sarcastic oral observation came from Justice Ram Mohan Reddy on Tuesday on noticing that some of the humungous hoardings, put up illegally on either side of the national highway on way to Bengaluru International Airport, have still not been removed despite the court’s earlier directions.

“Because of this ‘something’, our country has deteriorated. Though companies are putting up hoardings recklessly on government land, our Secretary for Panchayat Raj Department is keeping silent, I think Secretaries are playing golf to cool off because of the heat,” the court observed orally.

“Our officers ply on this road every day to go to Delhi. But they never seem to look at the hoardings: they only look at their monthly balance,” the judge observed.

The State government is also promoting RTO officers as IAS officers, the judge said. “What can be expected from such persons?”

The court then ordered issue of notices to advertisement agencies that have still not removed the hoardings and also to the National Highways Authority of India.

During the previous hearing, it had asked the government to remove the remaining hoardings by taking steps to vacate the stay granted on their removal by a Devanahalli court.

The government itself had admitted that permission granted by the six panchayats en route to the airport to erect the hoardings had no legal sanctity.

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