HYDERABAD: Taking a serious view of the assault on a petitioner for filing a PIL on encroachment of footpaths in Siddiambar Bazar and Mahabubgunj areas of the city, a division bench of the High Court on Tuesday pulled up the police concerned for failure to provide protection to the petitioner.
Warning that the Afzalgunj police station house officer would be held personally responsible for the assault, if warranted, the bench said it would order an inquiry into the episode and take action against those responsible for attacking the petitioner after going through affidavits.
The bench was dealing with a PIL filed by local resident Laxminivas Agarwal complaining about encroachment of footpaths, particularly in Siddiambar Bazar area, by shopkeepers, forcing people to walk on the main road endangering their lives. He alleged that shopkeepers constructed staircases and ramps on the pavements. Pointing out the inaction of the GHMC authorities on the issue, he sought court directions for removal of such encroachments.
When the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday, Agarwal, who was appearing as party-in-person, told the court that he was beaten severely by some elements and placed photographs to substantiate it. Alleging that local police, GHMC officials and the criminals had colluded and were behind the attack on him, he said that those who attacked him would be known if the CCTV footage was seen. Taking the submissions into consideration, the bench directed the petitioner to place all the details before the court in the form of an affidavit and posted the matter to Wednesday for further hearing.
While dealing with another taken-up PIL on the same issue, the bench issued notices to the principal secretary to municipal administration and urban development, principal secretary to home, GHMC commissioner, director of town planning, city police commissioner and joint commissioner of police (traffic), asking them to file counter affidavits stating the steps taken for removal of encroachments.