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Bengaluru Potholes | Don't Hesitate To Register FIRs On Complaints Of Serious Injuries/ Death Due To Bad Roads: High Court To Police

Mustafa Plumber
16 Dec 2022 6:03 AM GMT
Bengaluru Potholes | Dont Hesitate To Register FIRs On Complaints Of Serious Injuries/ Death Due To Bad Roads: High Court To Police
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The Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed the Police authorities to not avoid registering of FIRs on technical grounds, if citizens approach them complaining about injuries or death caused due to bad roads or potholes in Bengaluru.

A division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Ashok S Kinagi gave the direction in the backdrop of news reports published, wherein it was reported that even though citizens approached the police authorities for lodging FIR on account of serious injury being caused or death being occurred, due to worst condition of roads and potholes, the police authorities on majority occasions are not responding to the citizens nor the FIR are registered.

The bench directing the petitioner Vijayan Menon to add the State Home Department as party respondent and issuing notice to it said,

"We direct that in case a citizen approaches the concerned police station with a complaint the police authorities shall not hesitate or avoid to register the FIR by raising certain technical grounds."

Relying on its previous order where it was held that the right to have proper streets, including footways, isan essential part of the fundamental rights conferred on the citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution, the BBMP was directed to award a reasonable compensation to all citizens who suffered loss or damage arising out of an accident caused due to poor condition of the street or footpath.

The bench called for a report from the corporation, with data as to post the order of the court, whether such representation seeking compensation were received by BBMP, the number of such representations, any compensation awarded on receipt of such representation, etc. This data has to be submitted before the next date.

Further, the court directed the state government to provide, by December 23, two quality control teams to Regional Officer of Road Transport Ministry which has been directed to inspect the repair work of potholes done by BBMP by appointing private contractors.

The bench said,

"The state government may apprise the Secretary of PWD department to instruct the Chief Engineer, PWD, to provide necessary assistance in the form of two Quality Control teams, to the Regional Officer, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Government of India, by December 23, 2022."

The direction was given following the submission made by the authority that in view of a large area which needs to be inspected and limited staff available with the authority, a period of further eight weeks is required for completing inspection and submitting a report to the court.

By its order dated November 2, the court had said, "We request the Chief Engineer of National Highways Authorities of India, either personally or by deputing a senior official/engineer to inspect the work of repairs of potholes undertaken by BBMP by awarding contract to private contractors as well as work allotted to respondent 11."

The court has now directed the authority to submit its inspection report within six weeks from December 24.

The petition will next be heard on February 6, 2023.

Case Title: Vijayan Menon v. Secretary Urban Development Department

Case No: WP 42927/2015

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