A Delhi court has paved the way for the prosecution of a government engineer whose alleged negligence resulted in mosquitos breeding at the construction site of a court complex in south Delhi and five judges being hit by dengue.
Additional Session Judge Virender Bhat said: ‘The allegations against the petitioner (Public Works Department assistant engineer, civil, Digvijay Singh) is that he remained negligent in discharge of his official duty and did not prevent breeding of aedes mosquitoes in the district court complex Saket.’
‘The negligence shown by a public servant is an antithesis to the carefulness and diligence with which he is expected to discharge his official functions,’ he said.
‘The negligent conduct and attitude of a public servant can in no case be termed to be part and parcel of his official job,’ he added.
Digvijay Singh has assailed the order of Nov 10, 2010, passed by a magistrate in a Dwarka court, in which his application for protection from prosecution had been dismissed.
Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) officials, on inspection of the complex just before the Commonwealth Games, found mosquitoes breeding in the complex.
Accordingly, the petitioner was booked for the offences punishable under the MCD (malaria and mosquito-borne diseases) bylaws.
The charge against Singh was that being in charge of the court complex’s maintenance, he had failed to curb the breeding of mosquitoes there.
It was alleged that aedes mosquitoes were found breeding in the containers lying in the field, which would have caused malaria, dengue and other related diseases.
On being summoned, the petitioner chose to contest the charge. He filed an application claiming protection from prosecution.
His contention was that he being a public servant, he could not have been prosecuted without obtaining prior sanction from the competent authority.
‘The petitioner has been accused of dereliction of his official duties and, therefore, he cannot claim protection,’ the court said.
‘I find no infirmity in the order of the trial court. Revision petition is without any merit. Same is dismissed,’ the court said.
Just ahead of the Commonwealth Games, when the Saket court started functioning, five judges reportedly fell prey to dengue as the water accumulated in the unfinished construction site resulted in mosquito breeding.
It was reported that out of 80 families of judicial officers who had shifted to the residential complex of the premises, members of around 15 families had fallen sick with dengue symptoms.
‘At least one member of each of these families has fallen sick and this is happening due to waterlogging,’ a judge said.
The court complex became operational Aug 28 last year for litigants.