Wednesday, June 23, 2010

War over memorial goes to SC

War over memorial goes to SC

Krishna Apartment owners' welfare assn has filed a special leave petition in apex court

Team DNA. Bangalore

The Krishna Apartment Owners' Welfare Association, having failed to get a favourable verdict in the high court, on Monday filed a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court, challenging the construction of the proposed martyrs' memorial inside the Indira Gandhi Memorial Park in the heart of Bangalore. The association contended that the construction work would go against the provisions of the Karnataka Park Preservation Act, 1975.
The SC is currently on vacation, but the appeal will be heard on Monday, June 28. The SC reopens on July 5, and then the SLP will be heard as per regular court proceedings. Dr Sudhir Pai, a prominent member of the association that has been fighting the case in court, said there is hope of a positive verdict in the Supreme Court, considering that certain points in the Karnataka Park Preservation Act, 1975, were omitted in the HC judgment.
"Now it all depends on how our lawyer, Bharat Sangal, plays it out in the court," Pai said, adding, "We are law-abiding citizens. If nothing comes of this, we can't take the matter to the streets can we? We'll have to let it be."
Pai said that an amendment to the Act can be made, after which there would be no objection to building any number of memorials. "The June 4 high court judgment does not mention the violation of the said Act, nor does it mention the damage an underground structure can cause," said Pai.
It may be recalled that a division bench of the HC, comprising justice Manjula Chellur and justice Mohan Shantana Goudar, on June 4, dismissed the petition filed in a PIL by the association.
The HC stated that the proposed memorial was a matter of pride for the city and could well be an inspiration to youngsters to join the defence forces. It also said that the war memorial work would in no way hinder the serenity of the park; the site was chosen with care, to avoid any disruption of the historical significance of the park, the high court ruling had said.
With the HC nod, work on the memorial has been occurring in full swing. Three-meter-deep pits have been dug, and cranes and lorries are being worked, the construction noise drowning out the chirping of birds. Pai, however, said the fight is to set right bad precedents.

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