PATNA: The Patna high court on Wednesday ordered the state government to file a counter affidavit within four weeks on a PIL seeking shifting of the Jamui sub-divisional jail to a new building in the district.
Hearing the PIL filed by one Arun Kumar, the division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Jusitce Anil Kumar Upadhyay ordered the government to reply on the steps to be taken to stop the violation of fundamental rights of the inmates. The prison is only for undertrials. Once any one is convicted, he is shifted to Bhagalpur central jail.
The petitioner, through advocate Satya Prakash Parasar, said the pre-independence era prison was just for 170 inmates, but there are more than 500 people lodged there. The inmates suffering from different kinds of ailment are kept together, which worsen the situation and violates the fundamental rights of the inmates.
Ensure rehabilitation before evicting people: The high court, while disposing of three PILs together, ordered the state government to make arrangements for rehabilitation before evicting people living in the slums near R-Block, Road number 9 and 10 and President Chamber near the JD(U) headquarters at Beerchand Patel Path for more than 50 years. The PILs were filed by Jhuggi Jhopri Kamgar Majdoor Union and slum dwellers Babita Kumar and Gudiya Kumari. The petitioners pleaded before the court that they had been living in the area for more than 50 years and even had identity proofs like ration card, electricity bill and Aadhaar cards with the same address. The state government had also submitted an affidavit that it had no plan to evict the slum dwellers living in the area by encroaching government land. Altogether 222 families live in the area. They had pleaded that they should be provided land for settlement before eviction.
Shortage of staff: The high court, while hearing another PIL, granted the state government additional four weeks’ time to submit a counter affidavit on a time frame for completing the process of filling up vacant posts of teaching and non-teaching staff in government engineering and polytechnic colleges. Lawyer Dinu Kumar, who appeared for the petitioner, said that huge number of posts of professors, assistant professors, instructors and clerks were lying vacant in the 16 engineering and 32 polytechnic colleges run by state government. The state government had pleaded for more time to file an affidavit before the court on the issue.
No government vehicle certification centre: The state government admitted its failure to construct two vehicle inspection and certification centres despite the central government allocating Rs28 crore for that. The transport department, in its counter affidavit on the PIL filed by one Sudhir Kumar Ojha, informed the division bench that the two centres could not be built up due to the non-availability of land and it had written to the industries department for land allocation. The court granted the department four weeks’ time to reply on the PIL which claimed that none of the private inspection and certification centres in the state had proper equipment for checking emission from vehicles and fake fitness certificates were being issued by them in violation of Rule 62 of the Motor Vehicle Act. He said Rs28 crore was allocated in the 12th Five-Year Plan for the purpose.
Status report on Hardinge Park: Hearing a PIL filed by one Shambhu Sharan Singh on the beautification and development of the north and south parts of Veer Kunwar Singh Azadi Park (Hardinge Park), the high court on Wednesday ordered the state government to submit the status report on the matter after three months. The government submitted an affidavit that the southern part of the park would be developed and boundary walls with gates would be constructed with parking space for visitors, a herbal garden and development of grassland. But there is no time frame for its construction, the government said. In addition, the government also informed the court that basketball, lawn tennis, volley ball and stadium for other indoor games would also be constructed on the southern part of the park. The state government also informed the court that development work on 16.31 acre of the northern part of the park has been already completed.
PIL for CBI probe into funds scam: The Patna high court on Wednesday dismissed the PIL seeking CBI probe into the multi-crore Srijan scam. Petitioner Diwakar Yadav had also pleaded for monitoring of the probe by the high court. The court of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice AK Upadhyay, while dismissing the PIL, said it was not inclined to interfere as the matter was already handed over to the CBI. Advocate general Lalit Kishore also pleaded that the CBI had already started investigating the scam.
More than Rs1,000 crore of government funds was fraudulently transferred into the bank accounts of Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited (SMVSS), a non-government organization for the uplift of women. The petitioner had urged for the monitoring of the scam probe by a division bench of Patna high court in the light of a Supreme Court’s order in 1996 in the infamous fodder scam case. The then BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had then moved the Supreme Court for monitoring of the fodder scam investigation by a division bench of the Patna high court.