As dengue cases rise, HC asks Delhi govt about proposal to hike fine for mosquito breeding

The high court had earlier asked the government to examine increasing the quantum of fine imposed on erring institutions from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000

Downpour brings down Capital’s mercury, but spawns dengue

BREEDING GROUNDS: Pools of water are a common sight in the national capital. (Photo: Ali Fraz Rezvi)

Amid rising cases of dengue in the national capital, the Delhi High Court Friday asked the city government to inform it about the outcome of the proposal to raise on-the-spot fine for institutions where mosquitoes are found breeding from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad granted four weeks to the authorities to submit a reply and listed the matter for further hearing on December 9.

The high court was informed by the Delhi government’s counsel that the proposal for increasing the penalty is pending consideration and the process will take some time.

It is brought to the notice of the court that the Delhi government was directed to examine the proposal of imposition of on-the-spot fines at Rs 50,000 and the counsel appearing for Delhi government has stated that the matter is under consideration. Accordingly, Delhi government is granted four weeks’ time to inform about the outcome of the same, the bench said.

It also asked the authorities to forward a list of officials to be appointed as nodal officers for the purpose of incorporating a common protocol to deal with the menace of mosquito infestation and spread of vector borne diseases such as malaria, chikungunya and dengue.

The high court had earlier asked the government to examine increasing the quantum of fine imposed on erring institutions from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000.

The bench was hearing a case it had taken up on its own about large-scale mosquito breeding in the city.

It had noted the Municipal Corporation of Delhi had proposed enhancement of fine from Rs 500 to Rs 50,000 and imposition of on-the-spot penalty. However, the Delhi government counsel had told the court that though the proposal to increase the fine from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 was under process, there was no proposal for on-the-spot fine.

We are also of the view that where institutions are found guilty of such conduct, the quantum of fine should not be limited to merely Rs 5,000, and should be fixed at Rs 50,000. The GNCTD shall examine these aspects at the highest level and respond on the next date, the court had said.

In March, the high court had expressed displeasure over no action being taken by the Delhi government for amending the law and increasing the penalty so it acts a deterrence against breeding of mosquitoes which cause vector borne diseases, saying its request fell on deaf ears.

(With PTI inputs)

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