The High Court of Karnataka has suggested that authorities in Bengaluru increase the penalty imposed on people who violate the Solid Waste Management Rules and take criminal action against them under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as the current penalty is inadequate to work as a deterrent.
Considering a report that showed that the city municipal corporation, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), had collected a penalty of only Rs 11.66 crore from 3.84 lakh violators of the Rules between 2019 and 2023, the high court said the penalty amount recovered from each violator is too small to work as a deterrent.
The division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit was hearing a batch of 12 public interest litigations seeking effective management of waste generated in Bengaluru.
The first such PIL dates back to 2012 and the court has issued several directions to the State and BBMP over the years.
Apart from increasing the penalty, the HC suggested that “BBMP may also consider initiating penal action against violators taking recourse to appropriate provisions of IPC.”
Several resident welfare associations in Bengaluru, apart from the state government and BBMP, are respondents in the PIL.
The HC said, “If the apartment owners, flat owners or members of cooperative society are found to be violators, the respondent BBMP is required to take appropriate steps against the violators.”
The HC directed BBMP and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to file affidavits on the action taken on the directions issued by the court, and adjourned the hearing to October 11.