How often have we heard of laxity on part of municipal corporations when it comes to illegal structures and constructions.  People have come to almost accept corruption in these offices as a norm rather than exception.

And thus, any order passed against the office bearers of the corporation deserves a worthy mention.

The case in point refers to an illegal structure that was constructed at Mahakali Niwas at Vasai (W), for which complaint was filed in 2014. Pursuant to the complaint, an order was passed to institute an enquiry into the structure by the Vasai-Virar corporation (VVMC), undertake any visits if appropriate, submit a report and take action against the illegal construction.

Despite the High court order in the year 2014, no enquiry was undertaken nor report submitted on the illegal construction that was in a dilapidated condition as per the VVMC.  On the contrary, affidavits were filed loosely without any evidence to support the illegal construction. Replies were filed stating that illegal structures were removed, when in fact they were mere tin structures that were removed and which also got built on later on. The acting commissioners and the deputies did nothing to act on the order by the Honorable High court.

After over 3 years of delaying and dallying, the affected complainant thereby filed a contempt order in the High court. The High court, on noting the evidences and subsequent inactions by the Commissioner’s office, came down heavily on the authorities and held them for blatant contempt of Court order.  An order was passed noting the contempt of its order as per Rule 9(1) of the contempt of Court (Bombay High Court) Rules, 1994. The respondents, viz. past and present commissioners of VVMC and Asst Engineer of VVMC were asked to reply with their affidavits within 2 weeks of the order.

This order reinforces faith in judiciary –  as the authorities like VVMC who are responsible for ensuring the safety, security as also enforcing the legality of undertakings are finally made accountable for their corrupt actions.  It is time that such appointed guardians of society are made to pay for their misdeeds, which directly or indirectly harm the society at large.

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