News Karnataka
Monday, March 04 2024

Bengaluru High Court Expresses Concern over Contractors’ Welfare

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Bengaluru: The High Court of Karnataka, while hearing a contempt of court petition regarding pending bills, raised serious concerns over the delayed payments, stating that two contractors have reportedly committed suicide according to government records.

The division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit heard a contempt petition against Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) filed by M/s Nikshep Infra Projects. The BBMP claimed it was disbursing payments based on the “seniority” of bills, but the court found this concept puzzling and highlighted the inordinate delays in payments for completed projects.

The court emphasized that in a welfare state, contractors should not face undue delays in receiving payments for completed and approved works. It questioned the BBMP’s emphasis on seniority and challenged the claim that the municipality lacked funds.

The HC dismissed the argument about fake bills, pointing out that contractors shouldn’t be held responsible for such instances. It urged the BBMP to initiate clean-up operations within its own ranks and indicated that the court expected appropriate actions against any wrongdoing by BBMP officers.

The BBMP counsel mentioned the framing of guidelines, to which the HC responded by referencing its earlier order, expressing the hope that public bodies would consider the concerns raised by the court and take steps to avoid such situations in the future.

The hearing on the contempt petition has been adjourned to December 13. The respondents in the petition include Urban Development Department Secretary Ajay Nagabhushan MN, BBMP Commissioner Tushar Girinath, BBMP Chief Accounts Officer Vani, Malleshwaram Executive Engineer Jayashankar, and the State.”

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