STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: A Division Bench (DB) of the State High Court comprising First Puisne Judge Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta on Tuesday directed Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Commissioner Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), Deputy Commissioner Jammu and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jammu to take over possession of 97 Kanals of State Land situated at village Seri Khurd, Tehsil Nagrota, District Jammu, identified for cattle pound within a period of 10 days from today.
The Division Bench also directed that in case the possession of the land is not taken within 10 days from today, then adverse orders shall follow against the senior functionaries of the State on the next date of hearing.
These court directions were passed in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO SAVE through its Chairperson Devinder Kour Madaan alias Rumpy Madaan, seeking directions to the JMC, to establish a modern cattle pound for housing more than 3000 stray cattle. In the PIL, the primary relief is to ensure the closure of 59 illegal milk dairies operating within the limits of JMC. The PIL further sought re-location of the milk dairies outside the limits of JMC.
Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocates Supriya Chouhan and Suraj Singh appearing for the petitioner, drew the attention of the Division Bench (DB) to the order dated July 31, 2018 wherein the Division Bench had granted two weeks time to JMC to take over the possession of 97 Kanals of State Land with the assistance of SSP Jammu. The DB had also directed that the Divisional Commissioner Jammu as well as Commissioner JMC shall file an affidavit with regard to the compliance of this order by or before the next date of hearing.
Advocate Ahmed further submitted that it is unfortunate that Commissioner JMC wrote a communication to Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Deputy Commissioner Jammu, and SSP Jammu only on September 1, 2018 regarding the issue of cattle pound and till date the possession of the land has not been taken over by JMC.
Advocate Ahmed further submitted that the Divisional Commissioner Jammu has also shown casual approach towards the directions of the DB as he has not filed his own affidavit as directed by the DB on July 31, 2018. Advocate Ahmed submitted that issue will be resolved only when Divisional Commissioner Jammu along with DC Jammu, SSP Jammu and Commissioner JMC are directed to appear in person to explain their conduct as to why they are not performing their legitimate duties in taking over the possession of the land identified for cattle pound.
Advocate Ahmed further submitted that since the land is located near IIT Jagti ( Nagrota ) the Land Mafia is not allowing the authorities to take over the possession of the land and Advocate Ahmed further submitted that the political pressure upon the authorities is also not ruled out.
At this stage, DB put a specific query in the Open Court to Senior Additional Advocate General S.S Nanda and Advocate Sachin Gupta appearing for J&K State and JMC as to why the possession of the land has not been taken so far. Both the Counsel representing the State functionaries submitted that the process of taking over the possession has been initiated but some resistance is found on spot.
Upon this, DB directed the Divisional Commissioner Jammu to file a Compliance Report before the next date of hearing regarding the compliance of Order dated July 31, 2018 and the directions passed today.
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