HC seeks cpy of draft of bill on sealing, demolition

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked government to present before iton Tuesday draft copy of ‘Civic Laws (Special Provisions) Bill-2014’, reportedly aimed to freeze for at-least for one-year the sealing and demolition of buildings constructed in violation of the Master Plan in the state.
As soon as the hearing in Public Interest Litigation—Mujeeb Andrabi Vs state of J&K— started Monday morning, a Division Bench of Justices Hasnain Massodi and Ali Mohammad Magrey asked Government Advocate Shah Aamir about the policy of the government regarding the sealing and demolition of structures that have come up in violation of the Master Plan for Srinagar. In reply, advocate Aamir sought time to inform the bench about the query.
Later, the bench posted the PIL for further consideration in the afternoon.
“When the case came up for hearing again, I informed the bench that state cabinet has approved the draft of the bill and it will present before the state legislature soon,” Aamir told Kashmir Reader.
Subsequently, Aamir said that the court asked him to present the copy of the draft bill for its perusal on Tuesday.
As noted by the court, there are approximately 3000 illegal constructions in Srinagar alone which have taken place under the nose of officers and officials “either by dereliction of duty or having connived with the violators of law.”
On September 30 last, the court had directed the SMC to seal all unauthorized buildings identified by it in Srinagar.
Subsequently, 42 buildings were identified and sealed by the SMC; the structures had been constructed in violation of the Master Plan.
Later the court asked government to divulge preliminary stand regarding the policy to be framed by it about the Master Plan violations which have taken place in Srinagar in last few decades.
However, the government came up with the plea that the decision would be taken on the recommendations by the experts and the court observed that it would be a time consuming process.
Subsequently, the court ordered to decide the petitions filed by aggrieved parties on merit and passed a slew of directions to Special Tribunals to decide appeals filed before it.