NEWS File FIR over pothole accident complaint: HC to Home Office

File FIR over pothole accident complaint: HC to Home Office

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed police authorities not to hesitate or avoid registering FIRs in case citizens come forward to complain about accidents caused by potholes. The bench, headed by Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale, also asked the BBMP to submit details of statements by citizens seeking compensation in pothole-related accidents.

The judges are hearing the 2015 PIL filed by Vijayan Menon and others seeking various directions to fill potholes and maintain roads. The petition also seeks to provide a mechanism by which citizens can file complaints about poor road conditions.

During the hearing, the judge referred to a newspaper report that when members of the public reported pothole incidents to the police, the police neither responded nor registered the FIR. The judge directed BBMP to file a response containing details of the representations seeking compensation, the number of such representations and details of any compensation. The judge directed the petitioners to add the Home Office as a party to the petition.

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“We allow this activity in the context of certain news items, even though citizens are reported to register FIRs with police authorities for serious injury or death due to the worst condition of roads and potholes, in most cases, The police authority neither responds nor registers the FIR. Therefore, we instruct that the police authority should not hesitate or avoid registering the FIR by raising technical grounds if a citizen complains to the relevant police station,” the judge said.

In a previous hearing, the bench had directed the district officials of the Joint Road Transport and Highways Department, Bengaluru, to conduct an independent assessment by senior officials of the pothole repair and resurfacing works carried out by BBMP. At the hearing, at least two QC (Quality Control) teams from the Public Works Department (PWD) were asked to be appointed to assist the officials in preparing the report. The judge gave the state government until December 23, 2022 to provide the necessary assistance. Extending the time, the court directed the relevant authorities to submit their reports within six weeks from 24 December 2022.

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