Don’t hesitate or avoid filing FIRs on complaints of serious injuries or death due to bad roads, HC directs police

A road had caved in at Akshayanagar following rain in Bengaluru on December 10, 2022.
| Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

Taking note of newspaper reports that the police are not registering first information reports (FIRs) on the complaints of serious injuries and death caused due to potholes and bad roads, the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday directed the Bengaluru police not to hesitate or avoid registration of FIRs by raising technical grounds on such complaints.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Prasanna B. Varale and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi also directed that the Home Department be made a party to the PIL petition on the city’s road conditions as the news reports indicated that the police in a majority of instances were neither responding to the citizens nor registering the FIR.

Also, the Bench directed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to submit data about the number of representations received from the public seeking compensation for the damage caused due to bad roads/potholes, compensation paid, etc.

Meanwhile, the Bench directed the State government to provide two quality control teams from the Public Works Department to assist the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to inspect the city’s roads as directed by the court.

The Bench issued the direction as the NHAI informed the court that it requires an additional team on quality control to expedite the process of submitting report to the court on the quality of roadworks.

While the State government will have to provide assistance to the NHAI by December 23, the NHAI has been directed by the Bench to submit the inspection reports within six weeks from December 24.

The court on November 2 directed the NHAI to find out whether the terms of work orders were adhered to by the private contractors engaged by the BBMP while executing the works, and whether the quality of works was satisfactory. The court had found the need for inspection by an independent agency after noticing that the quality of works carried out by the private contractors were assessed and certified only by BBMP engineers.

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