HC: Commissioner of the Bangalore Development Authority deserves to go to jail
Justice Ram Mohan Reddy of the High Court on has observed that said the Commissioner of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) ‘‘deserves to go to jail’’.
The case pertains to taking over of a 30x40 site belonging to Dhakshayini, 41, in Nandini Layout by the BDA without informing her. As the procedure was not followed, she was promised an alternative site on her protest. However, the assurance was not fulfilled forcing her to approach the HC. In October 2012, the HC ordered the BDA to consider her case within eight weeks. In January, 2013 the case came up before the HC which gave a 24-hour deadline to the BDA to give an alternative site to the petitioner.
As the BDA failed to act, the case came up again on January 28, 2013 before the HC. The HC has asked the BDA Commissioner to explain by today (Friday, February 1, 2013) as to why action under the criminal contempt of court should not be initiated against him.
The BDA counsel submitted before the HC that the commissioner was not party to the case. Justice Ram Mohan Reddy observed, ‘‘The earlier direction was given to the commissioner of the BDA and not any lowly paid clerk. Let him put his explanation within two days. Tomorrow you will say the file was with the peon and you want me to punish him. The commissioner was ordered to dispose of the issue within eight weeks and he did not. Let him explain as to why his action should not be tried under the contempt of court. The earlier commissioner went away from India. He was sent as an Ambassador to some country. This time, I will make sure this commissioner will sit in an Ambassador car and go to the place I want him to go. He deserves to go behind bars.’’
The request of the BDA counsel seeking time till Monday from received a terse reply from Justice Ram Mohan Reddy, ‘‘In prison, they do special pooja of Sri Lakshmi on Fridays seeking more inmates. It is a good day to go to jail. I do not send people to jail on Mondays.’’
The counsel’s appeal for kindness was refused with the words, ‘‘Where is kindness here. Were you kind to the court? You did not follow orders. Applying principles of natural justice, the court is giving you 48 hours to file your reply. By the afternoon session (on Friday), I will send to jail.’’
Dhakshayini had used the RTI Act to get details of sites available in the same area through RTI. The HC had directed the BDA to provide her with an alternative site on payment of any difference in value of the alternate site. She was assured of an alternate site of an additional payment of Rs. 6.5 lakhs. Another RTI reply revealed that a neighbouring site had been given away by the BDA to a former MLA for 8 lakh while it was demanding additional Rs. 6.5 lakh from her.