Unhappy over “lack of proper assistance” in hearing matters pertaining to BMC, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday said it was considering assigning two days in a week to hear only such petitions during which the civic commissioner will have to remain present with his staff.
This is not the first time that Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the commissioner have faced the ire of the high court.Last week, it issued a show cause notice to BMC chief Ajoy Mehta and directed him to appear before the court on September 8. “In every matter pertaining to the BMC, we are facing difficulties because of no proper assistance. I think now we should assign two days in a week just for matters pertaining to BMC,” a division bench headed by Justice B R Gavai said today. “We will direct the BMC commissioner to remain present and sit here for both the days with his subordinate officers so that they can help us out with the petitions,” he said.
In its order passed last week, the high court sought to know why no action should be taken against the commissioner for defending legal matters in the “most callous and casual manner”. In another matter, Justice Gavai had directed Mehta to file an affidavit explaining the logic the civic body employs for leaving important cases to “not-so-capable” advocates while engaging services of “senior counsel for petty matters”.
Last month, Justice Gavai had said the corporation was spending over Rs 250 crore for its legal cell but still the high court was not getting proper legal assistance while hearing petitions against the BMC.