In a rare conviction, less than 2.5 months after the city’s civic body registered an offence against the secretary and chairman of a Parel housing society for not acting on its notice to get rid of mosquito breeding on its premises due to accumulated drain water, a Dadar magistrate has convicted the senior citizens.
On August 30, Jatashankar Gupta, 70, a businessman and the secretary of Deep Residency CHS and Kamlakar Mohite, 60 were ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 5,000 each. If they default in paying the fine, they would have to serve 30 days in prison. Metropolitan Magistrate RJ Patil found them guilty of violating Sec 381(1) of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act. The provision authorizes a civic body official to issue a notice requiring the person causing the nuisance to abate it.
On Apr 26 this year, a civic body official had inspected the society and had found that drain water had accumulated in the premises and mosquitoes were breeding in it. After due procedure, on May 6, he had served a notice for the duo to make proper drainage systems and get rid of the accumulated water and larvae within seven days. On May 17, the official visited the premises and found that they had not complied with it.
The magistrate noted that the civic official who had inspected the site and is the star witness had testified before it. Magistrate Patil said that it cannot be denied that the accumulation of water causes danger to property and larvae found in such accumulated water cause danger to the lives of people.
The two office bearers of the society sought leniency after being found guilty and told the court that they are working for the society without remuneration. The court noted that under the MMC Act, the prescribed punishment for the offence is a minimum fine of Rs. 2,000 that could extend to Rs. 10,000. It considered their submission and while imposing the fine, said its order would meet the ends of justice.