SRINAGAR: Inspector General, Traffic Basant Rath Tuesday told a Srinagar court that he was not privy to a restrain order issued by it to Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and hence was not liable for contempt for demolition of canopy at the entrance of Jehangir Hotel.
Replying to contempt petition filed by the hotelier with Municipal Magistrate Srinagar, Rath through his counsel, dismissed the allegations leveled against him, and said that he has neither been arraigned as a party in the main petition nor had any knowledge of the restrain order till notice in the contempt petition was served upon him by the court.
“Therefore no contempt will lie against answering IG Traffic as envisaged under Law and in light of Catena of Judicial pronouncements passed by various Hon’ble High Courts of the Country including the Apex Court. Reliance is placed on (2015) 1 CivCC 126, as such the motion of the Petitioner for initiation of Contempt proceedings deserves to be dismissed at threshold against answering IG Traffic,” Rath told the court through his counsel Mir Naveed Gul.
The Municipal Magistrate took the statement filed by Rath on record.
The owner of the Jehangir Hotel Shabir Ahmad Rangrez is seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Rath, SMC officials, and police, for demolishing the canopy at the entrance of the hotel last month.
He said the officials had violated the orders of stay issued by the court.
Rath’s counsel submitted that the application filed by hotelier “contains no valid grounds and that it is manifestly false, frivolous…”.
Besides, he said the motion was not maintainable as it has not been filed in accordance with the format and procedure envisaged in accordance to the 2018 Rules.
He added that the IG traffic was complying with the directions passed by division bench of High Court in a PIL titled Kashmir Consumer Welfare Vs State of J&K.
The hotelier’s counsel sought time for arguments which the court granted and listed the case for July 27.