Nation Current Affairs 13 Aug 2016 Bengaluru demolition ...

Bengaluru demolitions: Will BBMP, BDA officials face music?

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | CHANDRASHEKAR G
Published Aug 13, 2016, 3:10 am IST
Updated Aug 13, 2016, 3:10 am IST
The government's "tough-talk" could just be that — a ploy to protect guilty officials.
The government has started a massive demolition drive across the city and seems to have initiated action against erring officials.
 The government has started a massive demolition drive across the city and seems to have initiated action against erring officials.

BENGALURU: Is the state government's decision to book criminal cases against BBMP, BDA and retired officials for allowing encroachments on storm water drains a mere eyewash? Legal experts say that the government's action will not stand the scrutiny of the law as the Bengaluru Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) does not have the powers to try cases filed under the Indian Penal Code and Karnataka Land Revenue Act.

The government's "tough-talk" could just be that — a ploy to protect guilty officials, who are responsible for the city's flooding over the years, said sources in the BBMP.

 

The government has started a massive demolition drive across the city and seems to have initiated action against erring officials. “Unless the government acts against these officials, the enforcement of the law becomes difficult and encroachments will continue unabated,” said sources in BBMP.

In a case between the state of Karnataka and a builder, the Karnataka High Court had ruled that the BMTF police cannot investigate offences under Sections 119, 409 r/w 34 IPC, they said. The government, if it intended to punish these officials,   should have filed cases against officials and builders at respective police stations.

 

“The place of occurrence is important,” they said. Supreme Court advocate K.V. Dhananjay said, “The BMTF has the power to criminally investigate offences in connection with government lands within its jurisdiction. If the courts have held that BMTF has not yet been conferred with the power to investigate connected offences under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, why hasn't the government issued a Notification conferring such a power to the BMTF so far? It only takes 60 minutes to do so.”

“Much of the criminality involved in encroaching government lands is traceable to offences under the IPC and it's a shame that the state government has been sleeping all these years instead of acting proactively,” he said. “At the same time, the courts too have a public duty. They can remind the state government to confer IPC investigating powers to the BMTF in view of repeated instances coming before courts and the accused trying to exploit BMTF's lack of full powers,” he said.

 

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Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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