Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Friday reserved for orders a contempt petition by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) against Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE), the promoters of the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP).

A Division Bench comprising Justice V.G. Sabhahit and Justice B.V. Nagarathna also adjourned several other petitions on the issue.

The KSPCB had filed a contempt petition against NICE for going ahead with the Bangalore-Mysore Expressway project despite a stay order by the KSPCB Appellate Authority. The Dalit Sangharsha Samiti (DSS), along with non-governmental organisation Aparna-Citizens Service Forum, filed another contempt petition against NICE for violating the conditions in the framework agreement and making deviations in the project.

Another contempt petition by Pramod Layout Citizens’ Welfare Association had said that NICE had altered the alignment of a Link Road to ensure that it overlaps several areas of the layout.

When the matter came up, the KSPCB said NICE had gone ahead with the project though the KSPCB Appellate Authority had passed an interim order directing the parties-KSPCB and NICE to maintain status quo.

The KSPCB said NICE was asked by it not to go ahead with the project after it detected certain deviations in the formation of the road. The matter then came up before the High Court, which had remitted the matter back to the KSPCB Appellate Authority.

Though the authority had passed orders, NICE had continued to disobey it and continued with the project. It urged the court to frame charges against NICE for committing contempt of court.

Contesting these submissions, NICE said the authority is not a court and that there would not be any contempt if its order was disobeyed.

Moreover, no interim order was passed by the authority. Besides, a Division Bench order of the High Court continued and the company had gone ahead with the project because of it.

The Bench reserved for orders the contempt petition by KSPCB, while adjourning other cases.