Hyderabad: Doubting the no objection certificates (NOCs) issued to the Exhibition Society to conduct the Numaish from January 1, the High Court on Monday directed Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar to furnish the physical inspection reports of all the departments concerned and their findings, before they issued the NOCs.
The court said the reports must be submitted by 10.30 am on Tuesday, for its verification, failing which the annual exhibition would be postponed. The exhibition usually begins on New Year’s day.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Khaja Aijazuddin, expressing deep concern over the attitude of the officials in issuing the NOCs. He had filed the PIL after the fire accident in the last week of January.
The court had earlier ordered that Numaish will not be held unless NOCs were issued by all departments. On Monday, government special counsel S. Sharat Kumar submitted that all departments had issued the NOCs.
The bench was irked when inspection reports were not furnished and questioned the veracity of the NOCs. Chief Justice Chauhan said, “anyone can issue a NOC by sitting in his office? Even I can issue a NOC, but it should be buttressed by furnishing the inspection reports.”
The bench pointed out that the Exhibition Society had to allocate 41 per cent of the open area of its 21-acre venue for parking. No document showing any provision for a parking lot was furnished to the court.
The bench said that it would not allow requests to hold the exhibition without precautionary measures in place. “After all, it is the safety of the people which is the most important criteria. This aspect cannot be overlooked or ignored either by the Exhibition Society or the departments concerned. conspicuously, the inspection reports are missing”, observed Chief Justice Chauhan.
Referring to the coordination meeting held by the police commissioner, the Chief Justice observed, “the CP’s observations have been reduced to writing which is unseen. Hence, this court is unable to decide whether the conclusion drawn by the CP is objective or subjective satisfaction.”
Special counsel Sharath Kumar said the issue of removing the encroachments surrounding the exhibition site is difficult because they have been in existence for 40 years. If they are touched, there could be furore, he said.
Responding to it, the Chief Justice said that in that case the Exhibition Society should postpone its idea of holding Numaish and observed: “Kolkata and Delhi have witnessed major fire accidents wherein many lives were lost and these occurred because precautionary measures were not in place. Do you want us to witness such an incident here? Who will be held responsible for such a major fire accident, if it occurs?”...