The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday reserved its judgment on a petition seeking contempt of court action against Chandigarh municipal corporation joint commissioner Rajiv Kumar Gupta for misleading councilors to pass a negative resolution on the issue of compensation payment to dog bite victims, despite knowing that the case was pending in the court.
Justice Rajan Gupta was hearing a petition filed by a Chandigarh resident Gurmukh Singh highlighting dog menace in the city and seeking directions to the authorities to take effective steps for a permanent solution.Just a day after the HC had pulled up corporation for the stray dog menace and asked its officials to ponder over providing compensation to stray dog bite victims, the civic body on August 28, in its general house meeting, had rejected the same proposal.
The councillors had also resented that the HC was diminishing its image. As the court had questioned the corporation over its Nasik study tour on dog menace, the councillors had stated that in a democratic setup, it was well within their rights to take a decision as deemed fit for the welfare of city.
The petitioner’s counsel Kunal Mulwani informed the court on Thursday that the joint commissioner had been regularly attending the court proceedings and knew that this matter was sub-judice and was to be decided by the court.
However, he misled the councillors to pass a resolution upon the matter and also participate in the same which amounted to interference in the administration of justice and the process of the court, the counsel argued.
The court also took serious note of the fact that the joint commissioner was not present in the court on Thursday. “Where is the officer? He should have been here. He was not exempted on last hearing of his presence in court,” said justice Gupta.
Senior advocate Rupinder Singh Khosla submitted, “They (municipal authorities) are not concerned about this issue. They are not doing their duty. The only thing they are interested is in going on various trips spending public money and even after coming back no substantial steps are taken.”