‘May have to send officers to jail for not obeying court orders’

HC gives BBMP chief last chance to submit report on constructions in city park

It appears that one or two officers of the State Government will have to be sent to jail for not complying with the court’s repeated orders to set an example to others about the consequences, the High Court of Karnataka said on Tuesday.

Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, heading a Division Bench with Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum, made oral observations in this regard after noticing that the Chief Commissioner of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike had not submitted a report on constructions put up in a park despite time granted by court at least three times since August.

“We cannot tolerate non-compliance of court’s directions by the officers everyday. You [the officers] have started taking the court very lightly…You people won’t bother to comply unless we set an example. I think one or two examples have to be created by the court by sending officers to jail. This is the one case…” the Chief Justice observed orally.

“The prestige of the court cannot be compromised. To uphold the dignity of the court, this practice of non-compliance of court’s orders should be deprecated,” the Bench orally told the BBMP counsel when he sought time to submit the report based on a completed survey.

While giving the last opportunity to the Chief Commissioner of the BBMP and the State Government to file report on constructions in the park in Bengaluru city, the Bench adjourned further hearing till December 16 while deprecating the conduct of the BBMP in not adhering to the court’s earlier directions. The Bench on Monday had castigated two senior IAS officers of the rank of Principal Secretary for neither complying with the court’s direction nor personally being present in the court despite specific directions. The two officers later appeared before the Bench and apologised for their conduct after the Bench summoned the Advocate-General to express its displeasure over non-compliance of the court’s orders.

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