Mumbai: A sitting corporator of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Andheri, accused of putting up illegal hoardings and manhandling civic staff, was pulled up by the Bombay High Court on Monday. The corporator has been asked to file a personal reply as to why contempt proceedings should not be issued against him.
A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Ajay Gadkari slammed the corporator, firstly for putting up illegal hoardings and manhandling civic staff and secondly, for not accepting his mistake.
Corporator Murji Patel allegedly interfered with the special drive of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to remove illegal hoardings put up by local organisations, chaired by him. He obstructed civic staff from removing the banners and went on to assault a licence inspector of the BMC. Following this, the BMC dragged him to the court and sought contempt of court proceedings against him for defying court orders.
When the matter was heard on Monday, Patel initially accepted that the hoardings had been put by his organisation and also confessed to have interfered with the BMC’s drive. However, Patel through his advocate, later retracted the statement and invited the wrath of the judges. “Either accept your mistake and compensate the civic body for your actions or face the consequences,” the bench said.
To this, Patel through his counsel, said, “I am ready to deposit whatever amount the court asks me, to pay as compensation but will not accept this as my mistake.” “I am ready to face any punitive action as per the rules of the BMC and other laws, even disqualification. But I won’t accept this as a mistake,” Patel’s advocate submitted.
Irked by this, the judges said, “We would welcome if the BMC disqualifies the corporator for putting up the illegal hoardings and defacing the city. Such a disqualification will only be for violating the norms and it will also send a strong message against violations across the state.” The judges accordingly posted the matter for further hearing on March 13.