Delhi HC: Appoints ABP News Reporter as Local Commissioner

Delhi HC: Appoints ABP News Reporter as Local Commissioner

The Delhi High Court on May 31 came down heavily upon the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), saying that a video (an ABP News programme) presented by an appellant on the spread of dengue, chikungunya and other diseases in the NCT was not what the MCD report had said.

The bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said: “All of the parties need to see this video, especially the EDMC. The person who filmed the video is asked to be the local commissioner. He can go back again and submit the report.”

That made ABP News reporter Ankit Gupta the local commissioner, appointed by the court, to visit the affected areas whenever he pleases and report developments.

The court said that the MCD report is purely contrary, and it can attract contempt proceedings.

“We don’t want citizens to suffer just because you say that this is under the state and that the police is under the Centre and that garbage is under the MCD.”

Having watched the video, Justice Mittal said: “It’s raining outside. What would this pile of garbage do? Now you understand our anxiety. Who should we issue contempt notice to?”

The EDMC counsel said that the salary issue is pending as there is a PIL.

Justice Mittal said: “How can you even submit this kind of proposition? We are asking you what to do, you are telling us what we shouldn’t do? I told you earlier as a law officer you shouldn’t defend wrong actions. We will proceed as it’s our constitutional duty.

“We have seen the programme made by ABP News. The programme has been viewed in court. The programme relates to the functioning of EDMC on how they are (not) undertaking the simple task of removing garbage. Open drains are filled with garbage. It shows a large number of insects that leads to chikungunya. It has also been observed that this court has been misled by the statutory authority. Such conduct is completely unpardonable. We have no hesitation in condemning this act. Action under the contempt of court act is certainly invited, while penal action is necessary at the same time, as the lack of garbage disposal that leads to vector borne diseases.

“The grievance expressed by citizens and MCD employee, such as brooms, proper clothing, footwear, payment of wages, lack of appropriate machines for garbage removal, as well as lack of funds by the MCD itself, it is apparent that authorities have no concerns and they need to sit together to resolve the issue. Land is the subject of the Delhi government. It is also observed that without continuous monitoring these authorities will not move a step. ABP reporters are vigilant and know how the authorities of Delhi are functioning.

“It is directed that all the parties should have a soft copy of the programme and place it before the commissioner of MCD, secretary UT, LG of Delhi. Ankit Gupta, the reporter, will be appointed the local commissioner with his team to randomly visit the garbage disposal areas, to look into it and one such report needs to be placed before us. We will take the view regarding contempt.

“For the time being order regarding the contemptuous act will be done in next hearing.

“A report will be submitted with regards to the wages, especially Sita that appeared on the program.”

The matter is listed for June 2.

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