Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: A Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court on Monday stayed for six weeks the issue of a writ of quo warranto by a single judge against B. Srinivas Reddy, Managing Director of the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB).

The Bench ordered issue of notice to the parties and posted the matter for further hearing to February 20. It passed the order on appeals by Mr. Reddy and the KUWSDB against the single judge order of January 10.

The single judge had set aside the appointment on contract of Mr. Reddy from February 1, 2004 as the Managing Director of the KUWSDB, holding him to be an usurper of the post and ordered issue of quo warranto to oust him from office.

The single judge had passed the order on a petition by the KUWSDB Employees' Association and its president V.N. Halakate, who had challenged Mr. Reddy's appointment on contract.

Mr. Reddy retired as Managing Director on January 31, 2003 and the same day the Government issued a notification reappointing him on contract.

The single judge had taken to task the Government for continuing with the ad hoc appointment of Mr. Reddy.

Holding his appointment to be without merit and castigating the Government for making such appointments, the single judge had said they were negation of fair play.

When the matter came up, counsels for Mr. Reddy and the KUWSDB defended the appointment and said there was nothing illegal in it.

His removal, the Advocate General said, will affect the continuation of the project. The Bench said prima facie it was of the view that there was no justification for issuing a writ of quo warranto against Mr. Reddy's appointment declaring it as illegal.

Bail denied

Justice Manjulla Challur on Monday rejected a bail application by three accused in a gelatine blast case in Tumkur in which 12 persons were killed and 25 injured.

According to the prosecution, Nagabhushan and Chandra Naik along with others were transporting gelatine sticks, detonators and fuse coils in a van on April 18, 2002, when the blast took place. While Nagabhushan and Naik were killed in the explosion, three other accused, Ningappa, H.B. Rao and Ravi, were arrested. They were convicted by a Tumkur court and sentenced to two years imprisonment.

The prosecution said the explosives were stored in a house and then transported by Naik in a van.

Admitted

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice B. Padmaraj on Monday admitted a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by N. Shankara and another person from Chintamani in Kolar district seeking a direction to the authorities to remove illegal encroachments on Moodigere-Mulbagal State Highway.

The petitioners said parts of the State Highway that passes through Chintamani has been encroached upon. This had resulted in a number of accidents.

The Bench adjourned further hearing on the matter.

Upheld

A Division Bench comprising Justice R. Gururajan and Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy on Monday upheld an order of the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) setting aside the order of the Divisional Commissioner in quashing the caste certificate of Shankaraiah.

According to Mr. Shankaraiah, he was selected as assistant master (grade 2) in a high school under the backward class (BC) category.

After his appointment in 1994, his caste certificate was sent for verification. It was found during verification by the authorities that his annual income exceeded Rs. 60,000. This was in excess of the limit of Rs. 10,000 per annum prescribed under the rules of appointment.

The authorities then rejected his caste certificate.

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