News Karnataka
Wednesday, December 07 2022

Bengaluru: ‘Hold workshop to educate officials on Air, Water Act’

Karnataka High Court,
Photo Credit : IANS

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has urged the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to hold workshops to educate and train its officials on how to initiate criminal proceedings under the Air and Water Act with the help of the Environment Law Centre and National Law School of India University.

The court also ordered the KSPCB Chairman to record the topics discussed and the materials distributed in the workshops within three months. The petition by B. V. Byre Gowda, proprietor of Chennakeshava Stone Crushers in the Hosakote Taluk village of Beera Halli, challenging the validity of the criminal proceedings against him that were still pending before the Magistrate, was passed by Justice Suraj Govindaraj, who then delivered the order. The proceedings were based on the complaint filed by the Deputy Environment Officer (DEO) of KSPCB under the provisions of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.

The complaint was filed by the DEO without the Chairman’s prior approval, so the court had to dismiss the proceedings and the Magistrate’s cognizance of the offences taken in 2015 due to procedural lapses. However, the court left the board free to begin new proceedings in accordance with the law at the time.

The court instructed the Chairman to take action against the DEO and other officials who are responsible for filing such a defective complaint, considering that the certification of the complaint submitted by the DEO of KSPCB is unlawful.

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