The Delhi High Court today exempted the East Delhi Municipal Corporation commissioner from personally appearing before it for violating court orders in matters relating to sanitation. A vacation bench of Justices S Muralidhar and C Hari Shankar passed the order after Additional Solicitor General (ASJ) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the EDMC commissioner, urged that the officer be exempted from appearance on June 21. Jain submitted that the EDMC commissioner would not be able to appear before the court in person on the next date as he would attend a workshop outside India on solid waste and sewage facilities as part of his official duties. The ASJ said the workshop would start on June 17 and end on June 24 and added "thereafter the commissioner can appear on June 25 or on any other date fixed by the court". The bench allowed the request and said that somebody should be there on behalf of the EDMC on that date to answer the queries of the court. The high court had on June 2 summoned the commissioners of the three corporations in the national capital to appear before it in person on June 21 to explain why contempt action be not taken against them. The court had rebuked the corporations for not addressing the growing menace of vector-borne diseases especially dengue and chikungunya and for being apathetic towards the problems of the public. It had rapped them for their "zero preparation" leading to clogging of drains everywhere just after light rainfall in the national capital. The order had come after a TV channel's news video showed that garbage was not being collected and disposed of from several Delhi colonies for days on end. The video also showed that the silt from de-silting operations was accumulated on road-sides. The issue of lack of solid waste disposal was taken up by the court after it was told that it contributed to breeding of mosquitoes which caused vector borne-diseases such as dengue and chikungunya. The issue was highlighted during hearing of two PILs, one filed by advocate Arpit Bhargava, seeking directions to the authorities to take steps to prevent such diseases from occurring in Delhi.
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