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The Karnataka state government’s dilatory tactics during litigation came under flak in the Karnataka high court on Friday, when chief justice JS Khehar observed that the government might abandon its evasive methods only if the chief minister BS Yeddyurappa was asked to pay a fine of Rs1 lakh from his own pocket.

Deccan Mining Syndicate Company, Bangalore, had filed a petition in the high court contending that the company had on April 16, 2003 applied for an iron ore mining lease in 1,500 acres of area at Kumaraswamy range, Sandur taluk, Bellary district. Though the company complied with all obligations, the state government proposed to grant the lease to another company. A writ petition was filed in this regard in the high court in 2008 but ever since the state government had not filed its objections. When the case came up for hearing on Friday, the state government counsel sought for further time to file objections, prompting the court to caution the state government before adjourning the case.

The court usually gives four weeks’ time to the parties to file their statement of objections. Recently, the division bench headed by the chief justice had slapped a fine of Rs2,500 on the erring party as costs.


For the full report in the DNA, click here

Government's dilatory tactics when they don't want to give a straight answer has become the order of the day. An example was where, to a query under RTI on the question of enforcement of the M V Act in respect of number plates (check here for more on that), the Bangalore Traffic Police deliberately gave a misleading answer that it was the responsibility of the RTO. They maintained that stance for over a year till the matter came before the Information Commission, when they had to admit that it was thier duty. The Information Commissioner, being an ex-IPS officer, chose just to caution the officials concerned against such lapses in future. Check here for more on that.

One would have thought that the chastised BTP would respond more responsibly thereafter. But, their approach to the number plate issue continues to be lackadaisical, even as the security scenario is getting grimmer by the day. Perhaps, now the courts need to be moved.

And, that's just one issue. I am sure the readers have all experienced plenty more.

Muralidhar Rao

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