The BMC has announced it would prosecute residents if dengue mosquitoes are found in their homes or societies.
But lawyers and experts say even people can drag the civic body to court if it fails in its duties. YP Singh, IPS officer-turned lawyer, said residents/tax payers can use section 133 of CrPC to make the corporation perform its duties.
“According to the Supreme Court, BMC can be taken before a magistrate for failing to provide services,” he said.
“Article 21 of the Constitution deals with right to life. Getting municipal services is a right of residents. Hence, people can sue BMC under this section.” Singh said the section is applicable for all types of civic services that are obligatory.
Noted criminal lawyer Rizwan Merchant said since BMC is a government agency, a complainant will have to file a statutory notice to the corporation first. “Only then the tax payer can sue the civic body for compensation, which is civil procedure. At the same time criminal proceedings too can be initiated against officials.”
Jahangir Gai, a consumer activist, said there are two ways to take on BMC if the corporation delivers poor services. “A resident/consumer can approach the Lokayukta and create pressure on officials. The other is economically unviable — filing a writ petition before court,” Gai said.
Anand Patwardhan, advocate, said given the complications involved in taking on, what he called, ‘white elephant BMC’, it is of utmost importance to spread public awareness on rights and create a pressure group.
What you can do...
Tax payers can approach the National Human Rights Commission or its state wing and seek compensation under Protection of Human Rights, 1993, for any type of services — be it related to
health, solid waste collection, water supply, facilitating primary education, or providing roads.
If somebody has an accident and loses life on roads maintained by the civic body, a case can be filed against BMC under fourth clause of section 300 of the IPC.