Having good roads, footpaths a fundamental right: Karnataka HC

In a landmark verdict that gives a major relief to citizens suffering from bad roads in Bengaluru and other parts of the State, the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday declared that the right to have reasonably good footpaths and roads is a fundamental right of citizens under Article 21.

The court also declared that citizens can knock on the doors of the High Court to seek compensation from the civic authority for loss or damages caused by bad footpaths and roads.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Mohammad Nawaz passed the interim order during the hearing of a PIL petition, filed in 2015 by Vijayan Menon and three other residents of Koramangala in Bengaluru, who had complained about the failure of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to maintain roads in proper condition.

When it is the statutory obligation of a municipal corporation to construct, repair, and maintain footpaths and roads in good condition under Section 58 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, the Bench said it creates a corresponding right to the citizens to enforce the obligation on the part of the city corporations.

Citing Supreme Court judgments expanding the scope of fundamental right to life and personal liberty of the citizens, the Bench said if citizens suffer injuries or loss of life due to bad condition of footpaths and roads, it amounts to infringement of their right, while describing the right to have good roads and footpath is a necessity to lead a meaningful and dignified life under Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty).

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 4:37:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/having-good-roads-footpaths-a-fundamental-right-karnataka-hc/article28781121.ece

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