STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey of State High Court on Tuesday directed Commissioner/Secretary GAD to ensure that the members appointed in the Tribunal are beyond the shadow of any doubt regarding their honesty and integrity. This significant direction has been passed in a petition filed by Chairman Lakes and Waterways Development Authority against the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir Special Tribunal, Srinagar, arising out of the appeal, filed by the respondents against the demolition notice bearing No. LDA/EO/2B/11/2117-19 dated December 21, 2018, in terms whereof the Member of the Tribunal has disposed off the appeal with a direction to the respondents, viz appellants before him to put forth their views before the concerned authorities of the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, Srinagar, in the form of representation, who may re-examine the issue and take appropriate action in the matter strictly in accordance with law/regulations governing the subject in time bound manner. Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while staying the order of Special Tribunal, directed Authority shall ensure sealing of the construction immediately and if they notice any resistance, they shall seek assistance of SSP, Srinagar, who shall ensure availability of sufficient number of police personnel for ensuring implementation of the order by sealing the construction. Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey directed Principal Secretary to Government Housing and Urban Development Department to submit the list of permissions granted in the entire city of Srinagar from the Authority, headed by Commissioner Secretary to Srinagar, Municipal Corporation as also the Chairman Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, initially for the last six months with the report of the concerned authorities about the adherence of the conditions of permission or its violation. “Principal Secretary shall also order an enquiry into the subject of the permission so as to ascertain as to how the respondents have raised the construction by major violation of the permission. If on preliminary enquiry, the erring officers/officials are found prima facie involved, further action shall be taken against them in terms of rules and law”, the court observed. The court also directed Commissioner Secretary, General Administration Department to ensure in consultation with the Law department that the members appointed in the Tribunal are beyond the shadow of any doubt regarding their honesty and integrity. While issuing directions to the State, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey observed that respondents having failed to reply and further carried the construction, is stated to be the ground for issuing the final notice under Section 7(3) of J&K Control of Building Operation Act, 1988 read with amendment No. VI of 1997. “On satisfaction that the construction has been raised in contravention of the permission of the Authority, therefore, requires to be demolished/ pull down the deviated portion of construction within five days from the date serving of the instant notice. Five days had already expired on December 26, 2018, but seemingly no action was taken by the petitioners on the expiry of the timeline fixed for the scheme of law and no demolition order passed as also no demolition is affected. Reference of all this is made because from the available record, it transpired that the respondents have challenged this final notice before the Tribunal on December 24, 2018, but there is no reference of restraining the petitioners for proceeding in the matter, the only order passed by the Tribunal has reference to February 4, 2019. The Tribunal has finally passed an order in a way regularizing the major deviations by asking the Authorities to look into the matter, for which there is no provision in law”, the court observed. It was observed that prima facie Tribunal has not only erred in law, but has also contributed in encouraging the violators by asking the Authorities to re-look into the matter. “The Tribunal has not appreciated the scheme of the Act and the Judgments on the issue, as there is no scope for the Tribunal to pass the directions which are beyond the scope of the law in terms of the scheme of the Act, the only recourse for the Tribunal is while dealing with an appeal to find out any illegality in the process of demolition, initiated by the Authority in exercise of the powers under the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Control of Building Operation Act, 1988. The order of the Tribunal is palpably wrong and illegal”, the court observed.
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