BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) escaped action under Contempt of Court Act for the time being by publishing that the citizens are entitled to compensation for loss or damage in case of accidents due to potholes or poor condition of roads in Bengaluru. This comes a day after the High Court threatened to issue contempt notices to top officials of BBMP, including Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
However, although sparing BBMP, the court took the elected representatives of BBMP and its Commissioner to the task.
When the matter was taken up for hearing on Thursday, the counsel of BBMP, K N Puttegowda, submitted before a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Pradeep Singh Yerur that the civic body had, as per court’s directions, given wide publicity through six major daily newspapers, including three English and three Kannada newspapers on Thursday.
Making it clear that it is not proposing to take action now as the BBMP’s appeal against the direction of HC is pending before Supreme Court, the bench said the officers of the BBMP — Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Leader of Opposition in the Council, heads of Standing Committees — should have been more concerned about the safety and comfort of the citizens. “Instead the said lawful elected representatives took a unanimous decision to place the matter involving importance of common man before Council and to forward the same to the government,” the court said.
The bench pointed to the affidavit filed by BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar stating that it was unanimously decided to place the matter before the Council for threadbare discussion as there was no provision in the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act to provide compensation.
Declining permission for the withdrawal of the affidavit filed by the BBMP Commissioner, the court said that rather than spending time for taking action against BBMP, it was better to spend time to get relief for the common man.
‘Provide study material to visually challenged kids’
The Karnataka High Court on Thursday issued a notice to the state government on a PIL seeking directions to ensure that all children with visual disabilities have access to free textbooks, reference books and other educational material in Braille and upload the same on the government website in EPUB format.
Hearing a petition filed by National Federation of Blind (Karnataka), a division bench issued the notice.
“The government’s inaction in ensuring the study materials in EPUB format for children with visual disabilities is violation of fundamental rights of those children.
Therefore, direct the state government to review all website and online contents uploaded by it and ensure that they are available in accessible format,” the petitioner told the court.
The petitioner added that Braille books were not made available in sufficient numbers or in time at the beginning of the academic year, causing a delay in accessing reading material for those with visual disabilities.