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Water, power to be cut for non-payment: High Court

The civic bodies were also directed to initiate proceedings for recovery of arrears within six months.
Those contesting elections will have to submit a no dues certificate from the civic agencies if they have availed of government accommodation and related facilities.

A Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw observed there was “total lack of will” and “inertia” on the part of government agencies to recover dues from MPs, politicians and political parties over last 18 years.

Noting that public bodies do not show the same zeal with which they recover dues from ordinary citizens where people with power are concerned, the bench directed the agencies to ensure that arrears do not accumulate for more than three months.

After three months, the agencies, including New Delhi Municipal Council, MTNL, BSNL and the Estate Office, have been directed to disconnect the amenities/facilities and to initiate recovery proceedings within six months.

The Bench decided to issue the directions as “neither the cajoling by this court of the governmental agencies, to whom dues are owed, could spur them into action for recovery nor the different avenues explored by the court to effect recovery of dues from the defaulter politicians and political parties have had any substantial success.” 

The court while issuing directions also noted that the “defaulter politicians and political parties are found to have misused their position of power for their own benefit and gain”.

The court also said: “All have in the process forgotten the social philosophy and philosophy of law in this area which emphatically requires that offices of public power shall not be the workshops of personal gain.

“Those wielding power, have made it an instrument of <g data-gr-id="36">self seeking</g>, forgetting that power is like a trust and that abuse of authority by those in power inevitably causes mass disillusionment and results in public frustration.” 

The 15-page judgment penned by Justice Endlaw came on a PIL by an NGO alleging that some former MPs vacated <g data-gr-id="30"><g data-gr-id="31">their</g></g> official residences after their tenures ended without paying electricity, <g data-gr-id="33">water</g> and telephone dues.
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