Certain powers withdrawn with mala fide intentions: PIL plea

The State government has to tell the Karnataka High Court on Monday what is its stand on the allegation made in a public interest litigation (PIL) petition that certain powers for investigation vested with the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) were withdrawn with mala fide intentions.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna asked the government counsel to inform the court on the issue during the hearing of the petition filed by H. Pramod and G.K.C. Reddy, social workers, on Friday .

The petitioners have contended that the government, in the guise of issuing a clarification on the functions of the BMTF, had withdrawn powers of the agency to book public servants who collude with private persons in activities that are contrary to the provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act and the Karnataka Municipalities Act.

The petitioners claim that these powers were withdrawn due to pressure from officials as the BMTF had booked several criminal cases against many officials of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) besides booking a former Mayor, a couple of former Ministers [belonging to the then BJP government] and others.

Though the government has been asked to clarify its stand on the allegations, the Bench also asked the counsel for the petitioners to establish in law that the High Court can interfere in the matters where the government exercises its administrative power for delegation of assignments to various bodies.

The counsel submitted that the court could interfere when the administrative power was exercised with mala fide intention stating that he would produce Supreme Court verdicts in support of his arguments.