HC turns the heat on civic body and illegal constructions

It orders initiation of PIL petition for ensuring BBMP demolishes illegal structures

Published - August 23, 2019 08:23 am IST - Bengaluru

BANGALORE, 11/12/2007: A view of Karnataka High Court in Bangalore.
Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy 11-12-2007

BANGALORE, 11/12/2007: A view of Karnataka High Court in Bangalore. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy 11-12-2007

Taking note of several pleas against illegal constructions in the city and failure of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to remove such structures, the Karnataka High Court on Thursday ordered for suo motu initiation of a PIL petition for issuing specific directions to the civic body to promptly demolish illegal structures.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Mohammad Nawaz issued the direction during the hearing of a PIL petition, which had alleged that a three-storey building was illegally constructed in Bommanahalli zone.

During earlier hearings, it came to the court’s notice that the BBMP had conducted an inquiry about this building and found it to be illegal, and passed an order in January 2018 under the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act for demolishing the structure.

As the building owner did not demolish the structure, the BBMP decided to undertake the task. The estimated cost was ₹15 lakh. However, the BBMP did not carry out the demolition as no budgetary allocation was made during 2017-18 for demolition works.

While taking serious note of the BBMP’s inaction, the court had asked the State government to examine the issue. Meanwhile, the person who had put up the illegal building made a counter allegation that even the petitioner had put up illegal structures. The court had asked the BBMP to examine these allegations.

Later, the court came across more petitions alleging illegal constructions. On Thursday, the bench decided to take up the issue to ensure that the BBMP takes prompt action to demolish illegal buildings as the court found that the civic body had failed to carry out the task despite declaring them as illegal.

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