Gujarat HC Issues notices; Petition alleges SMC chief, others of contempt of court

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The petitioner sought that the HC may direct the secretary of the state’s Town Planning & Urban Development department, to initiate proceedings against the respondents “who did not discharge their official duty...”

The Gujarat High Court (HC) issued notices to Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani and to other SMC officials on February 12, in relation to a petition accusing the parties of contempt of court.

The matter pertains to an illegal construction by SMC corporator Devidas Wankhede, wherein the HC in May, 2019 had directed the municipal commissioner to “take appropriate actions in accordance with law” and “as early as possible.” However, petitioner Gautam Patel submitted that despite repeated representations, no action was taken.

The petitioner submitted, “The respondents have willfully not taken any appropriate actions in accordance with law in this regards till date, even after serving the show cause notices for removal of aforesaid illegal construction and issuance of directions...seemingly because of the pressure of Mr. Devidas Wankhede...”

In addition to seeking that the HC hold the respondents guilty of contempt of court, the petitioner has also sought that it may direct the secretary of the state’s Town Planning & Urban Development department, to initiate proceedings against the respondents “who did not discharge their official duty...”