The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said that if any death is caused due to potholes on roads on open manhole/ drainage, the concerned officers will be held responsible [Ruju Thakker v. State of Maharashtra & Ors]..A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Abhay Ahuja reasoned that in the event someone falls into the manhole and dies, the Court could not ask the aggrieved persons to ask for compensation through a civil suit. “We are appreciating your efforts, but what happens if a manhole is open and they die. We cannot ask them to go and institute a civil suit. The officers will be put to notice, they will be held responsible”, the judge said. The remark was made after Senior Advocate Anil Sakhare for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) informed the Court that it was addressing the issues of manholes on a war footing basis and ensuring that all manholes are covered. .The Bench also suggested that civic authorities like the BMC ought to come up with a permanent solution to the chronic problem of open manhole covers.“In this day of modern technology, why don’t you devise something that if someone touches a manhole cover, tampers with the cover, you get to know immediately in your office? Why not something like a sensor?” the Bench asked. The bench also stated that civic authorities ought to have a standard operating procedure (SoP) to address issues of manhole covers, and maybe have iron grills below manhole covers.“Solution has to be provided by you. What should be the appropriate solution for this, you tell us. We need permanent measures. You must do some progressive thinking. It is your job. We cannot keep saying what needs to be done," the bench said posting the matter for hearing on December 19. .The observations came in a plea raising grievance that civic authorities of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region were in contempt of the order of the High Court passed in a 2013 public interest litigation pertaining to the issue of potholes.In 2018, the High Court had passed a detailed judgment after taking into consideration suggestions from lawyers and other intervenors.After a year, Mumbai lawyer and petitioner in person, Ruju Thakker approached the High Court alleging failure on the part of the civic authorities in implementing the High Court orders of February and April 2018.