The Karnataka High Court has directed the state government and heads of local bodies to initiate action through departmental inquiry on officers who turn blind eye towards illegal constructions and do not initiate legal action against them.

The order has been given by the bench headed by Justice Nagaprasanna while looking into the petition by K.S. Eshwarappa, a resident of Shivamogga district on Thursday.

Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High CourtTwitter

The bench explained in its order that as per the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act, assistant engineers and executive engineers have to inspect existing illegal buildings in the limits of corporations in the state. If illegal constructions are found, legal action has to be initiated.

In case, the officers fail to take action against illegal buildings and show dereliction of duty, the commissioners of respective corporations should order departmental probe. In case the officers are found guilty, strict action has to be initiated against them, the court said.

Seeks harsh action against illegal constructions

There should not be hesitancy in taking action against these officers. If anyone is going ahead with construction of illegal buildings, they should be mercilessly stopped. Harsh action has to be initiated against officers who encourage them, the bench observed.

The court further observed that the officers will get a direct or indirect benefit when people construct illegal buildings. The people will be at loss.

Illegal construction
A New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) excavator demolishes illegal houses in New Delhi on 18 July, 2009.Reuters file

The bench has also quashed the petition questioning the notice issued to the petitioner regarding clearing an illegal building under the Karnataka Municipality Corporation Act 1976.

The court has also imposed the petitioner with Rs 50,000 fine amount and directed him to deposit the amount to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. The court has also directed the Shivamogga City Corporation to take the case to the logical end.