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Karnataka High Court: Obstructions and illegal parking on footways or public streets amount to violation of fundamental rights under Article 21

2 min read

 Lekha G

The Karnataka High Court passed an order regarding the obstruction and illegal parking on footways and held that it is the duty of authorities to ensure the footways and public streets are kept free of obstructions including illegal parking.

It is also their responsibility to ensure that criminal law is promptly set in motion against offenders and violators.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj, relying on the order passed by the Court said, “This Court has held that a right to have streets including footways in a good and reasonable condition will have to be held as an essential part of the fundamentals rights conferred on the citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. If the footways or public streets are encroached upon in any manner including by parking of vehicles, it will amount to a violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India as held by this Court”.

The Court also directed the State Government and the Traffic Police Department to make effective implementation of the provisions under Sections 117, 118, 122, 127 177A, 201 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and take strict actions against such violators.

Further, the Court directed the State Government as well as the BBMP to issue directions to its officers for effective implementation of the above directions within a period of six weeks.

The Court opined that, “Non-implementation of the aforesaid provisions which we have discussed in the body of the judgment may even amount to a violation of the right to life guaranteed to the citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution of India”.

The Court while making a special reference to Section 18 of the Karnataka Traffic Control Act of 1960 said, “This is a legislation of 1960. We hope and trust that the Legislature will consider whether Section 18 needs an amendment for providing for stringent punishments”.

The Order was passed while disposing of a petition filed by Advocate D. S. Ramachandra Reddy that urged attention of the Court to the obstructions made on footpaths, footways in particular locations in Bengaluru city. He also pleaded for directions of the Court to make a particular street one-way and ensure the erection of all road signals.