Failure of statutory, admn authorities leading to piling up of PILs: HC

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 11: State High Court has regretted the failure on the part of the statutory and administrative authorities in effectively implementing the statutes and carrying out the mandate of the political bosses in public interest and in accordance with the law. Due to this, the common masses are being subjected to incalculable suffering and untold miseries.
These significant observations were made by the Division Bench of State High Court comprising Justice Virender Singh and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, while disposing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL)
“We the people of India have given to ourselves the Constitution, from the bossom of which are born three principal organs of the State—Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. In view of the mandate contained in the Constitution, all the three organs of the State have to function within the frontiers delineated by the Constitution itself”, the DB said, adding “the legislature has to legislate the laws and the executive, which is answerable to the legislature, has to implement the laws”.
Stating that the principal and fundamental functions of the Courts are to interpret the laws and resolve the disputes between the litigating parties, the DB regretted, “because of the disability from which certain sections of the society are suffering from vis-à-vis down-trodden class of the society, the children and the women folk, and further in order to protect the environment, a national asset, the Constitutional Courts have been entertaining the petitions which are in public interest or even at times, have been taking suo-moto cognizance of the issues which have impact on large sections of the society. The Constitutional Courts have opened the doors for such proceedings for the benefit of under-privileged class of the society”.
“The failure on the part of the statutory and administrative authorities in effectively implementing the statutes and carrying out the mandate of the political bosses in public interest and in accordance with the law is resulting in subjecting the common masses to incalculable sufferings and untold miseries”, the DB further regretted, adding “the in-action, non-performance or poor performance on the part of the statutory and administrative authorities results in depriving the basic facilities and amenities to the man on street”.
“The amenities and the facilities, which are to be provided to the people at large, have many shades and the people are approaching the courts by filing the Public Interest Litigations complaining that even the basic facilities are not being made available to them”, the DB said, adding “such type of litigations are eating into the public time of the courts which is otherwise to be devoted for resolving the disputes between the parties which are brought before the Constitutional and other courts”.
“The Legislatures are painting rainbow of rights, which due to cruel defiance of some persons, who are duty bound to translate them into reality, get eclipsed under dark clouds of insensitivity”, the Division Bench remarked.
Pointing towards the directions, which the petitioners were seeking to the respondents including State Pollution Control Board, Commissioner Municipal Corporation and the Deputy Commissioner, Jammu for implementing the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986, Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 and the Jammu and Kashmir Non-Biodegradable Material (Management, Handling and Disposal) Act, 2007 and the Rules, the Division Bench said, “if the authorities, who are charged with the duties to implement such laws would discharge their duty honestly and diligently such type of petitions would not be filed”.
“One of the functions of the Courts is to direct implementation of laws, if it is complained that the same are not being implemented by the authorities concerned. Such a situation can arise once in a blue moon. Unfortunately, this Court is being flooded with Public Interest Litigations”, the DB observed in the order written by Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar.
Terming the issues raised in the Public Interest Litigation as of significant importance, the DB said, “it has surfaced that Municipal Corporation, Jammu, is not making all out efforts to keep the city clean and create hygienic conditions. The State Pollution Control Board is lacking in taking effective and stringent action in accordance with the law against the violators”.
While disposing of the PIL, the DB directed the respondents, who were present in the court, to take all effective steps and gear up the statutory and administrative machinery for implementing the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986, Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 and the Jammu and Kashmir Non-Biodegradable Material (Management, Handling and Disposal) Act, 2007 and the Rules.
The Commissioner Secretary, Urban and Local Bodies was directed to monitor the functioning of the Municipal Corporation for implementing these laws and maintenance of the cleanliness and hygienic conditions of Jammu city. He was further directed to supervise the functioning of Srinagar Municipal Corporation and all other Municipal Committees of the State.
The competent and disciplinary authorities were directed to seek periodical reports from all the concerned authorities. The DB also directed the Commissioner Secretary Urban and Local Bodies to initiate or order initiation of disciplinary proceedings against all such officers/officials who would be lacking in their performance of duty and would show utter dis-regard to the provisions of statute and instructions of superiors.
“The State Pollution Control Board should take all effective steps in implementing the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and the Chairman of the Board should be personally responsible to effectively implement the provisions of the Acts”, the DB said.
“If any of the members of the society would have any grievance against the functioning of the officers and officials of the departments concerned then the same shall be brought to the notice of competent/disciplinary authority, who shall be under an obligation to consider and take a decision on such complaints preferably within four weeks from the date such complaints are received and convey the results to the aggrieved persons”, the DB directed.

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