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Illegal Parking On Footways Or Public Streets Will Amount To Violation Of Fundamental Rights Under Article 21 : Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber
15 May 2021 6:49 AM GMT
Illegal Parking On Footways Or Public Streets Will Amount To Violation Of Fundamental Rights Under Article 21 : Karnataka High Court
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The Karnataka High Court has held that it is the duty of the authorities to ensure that the footways and public streets are kept free of obstructions including illegal parking thereon. It is also their responsibility to ensure that violations of the aforesaid provisions of law are not taken casually and criminal law is promptly set in motion. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka...

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The Karnataka High Court has held that it is the duty of the authorities to ensure that the footways and public streets are kept free of obstructions including illegal parking thereon. It is also their responsibility to ensure that violations of the aforesaid provisions of law are not taken casually and criminal law is promptly set in motion.

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj, relying on the order passed by the court on 31st July 2019 in W.P.No.42927/2015, said "This Court has held that a right to have streets including footways in a good and reasonable condition will have to be held as an essential part of the fundamental rights conferred on the citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. If the footways or public streets are encroached upon in any manner including by parking of vehicles, it will amount to violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India as held by this Court."

The court has also directed the state government and the traffic Police Department to make effective implementation of the provisions contained in Sections 117, 122, 127, 177A and 201 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, on a complaint made by a citizen or otherwise. If any violation of the said provisions is made, apart from taking action of removal of illegally stopped, parked or abandoned vehicles on footways, criminal law must be set in motion immediately.

It added "The respondents shall ensure strict implementation of the provisions of the Karnataka Traffic Control Act, of 1960 and the Karnataka Traffic Control Rules of 1979."

Further, it said "It is the duty of the State Government and its agencies and instrumentalities to ensure that the relevant provisions under the M.V. Act, the said Act of 1960, the rules framed under the said Act of 1960 as well as the Regulations framed under Section 118 of the M.V.

Act concerning footways are strictly implemented. They shall ensure that criminal law is promptly set in motion against the offenders and violators;

The court has directed the State Government as well as the BBMP to issue directions to its officers for the purpose of implementation of the above directions within a period of six weeks.

The court opined that all the penal provisions which we have discussed above must be scrupulously enforced by all the concerned. It said "Unless the penal provisions are properly enforced, the aforesaid provisions of law will remain only on paper."

It concluded by saying "Non implementation of the aforesaid provisions which we have discussed in the body of the judgment may even amount to violation of right to life guaranteed to the citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution of India."

Court suggests increasing the fine amount

A reference was made to Section 18 of the Karnataka Traffic Control Act of 1960 under which any violation of the provisions of the said Act of 1960 or of any Rule made thereunder is an offence. The court said "Unfortunately, a very mild punishment is prescribed of fine which may extend to ten rupees or in case of successive offence, it may extend to fifty rupees.

Accordingly it suggested "This is a legislation of 1960. We hope and trust that the Legislature will consider whether Section 18 needs an amendment for providing for stringent punishments."

The order was passed while disposing of a petition filed by Advocate D. S. RAMACHANDRA REDDY inviting the attention of the Court to the encroachments made on foot paths/ footways in a particular location in Bengaluru city. Further, seeking a direction of the court for making a particular street for one-way street and for ensuring that all road signals are erected.

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