Bengaluru

HC does not initiate contempt proceedings against officials

The bigger issue: The court said that it was not taking action for contempt by showing mercy only as it wanted to concentrate on enforcing directions on maintenance of public roads and footpaths.

The bigger issue: The court said that it was not taking action for contempt by showing mercy only as it wanted to concentrate on enforcing directions on maintenance of public roads and footpaths.  

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The court asks the Mayor, others, to concern themselves with safety of citizens

Observing that the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and other elected representatives ‘should be more concerned about the safety and comfort of citizens rather than holding meetings to discuss how not to implement the court’s order’, the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday refrained from initiating contempt proceedings against them. This was with reference to defying the court’s direction on giving wide publicity on its July 31 order that citizens can seek compensation from BBMP for loss or damage caused due to poor conditions of roads and footpaths.

This was after the Bengaluru Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) submitted a memo, enclosing copies of public notices, issued in the November 28 edition of six newspapers informing the public that BBMP would award a reasonable compensation (subject to outcome of an appeal filed in Supreme Court) if citizens were to suffer loss or damages due to poor conditions of roads and footpaths after considering representations in this regard by the public with necessary documents.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Pradeep Singh Yerur said though the High Court was not touchy about its orders as the BBMP or any ordinary litigant can challenge them before the apex court, the HC cannot be a mute spectator when the very authority and majesty of the court is challenged by public authorities like the BBMP in defying such orders.

Pointing out that action under the Contempt of Courts is initiated only when it is necessary to protect the dignity of the courts, the Bench said that it is not taking action for contempt by showing mercy only as it wants to concentrate on enforcing directions issued on maintenance of public roads and footpaths, which are more important in the interest of common man rather than initiating action against those who disobey court orders.

The High Court on Wednesday said that it was inclined to initiate contempt proceedings against the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, heads of three standing committees, and leaders of ruling and opposition parties, as the Commissioner had said that these leaders had unanimously decided to place before the council the issue of paying compensation as per court’s direction instead of issuing public notice informing the public about the mechanism available for payment of compensation in terms of court’s order.

The Bench adjourned further hearing while making it clear that it has not concluded the issue of defiance shown by the BBMP.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 10:31:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/hc-does-not-initiate-contempt-proceedings-against-officials/article30109978.ece

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