Srinagar: In view of a threat perception to an individual, the government has to make a decision on whether or not to provide him with accommodation; the court cannot question such matters unless and until they are arbitrary or malicious in nature, the J&K High Court held while dismissing a political activist’s petition.
The court of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey held that it is within the domain and area of the competent authority to accept or reject the request of the individual for government accommodation. After taking an overall view of the threat perception to an individual, the competent authority has to form its subjective opinion in a matter in view of the peculiar facts and circumstances of such a case.
While dismissing the petition of political activist Noor Mohammad Bhat, the court said, “The policy decision of the competent authority constituted by the Government which declined the relief to the petitioner cannot be called in question in the Court, unless and until the same is arbitrary or, to put in other words, it is irrational and not circumspect or is wayward, aberrant, malicious and capricious, offending the basic requirement of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
The petition of the petitioner does not fall within the purview of these parameters. The decision of the competent authority on such matters, that is, providing of security, shelter and accommodation to a person, cannot be challenged in a Court of law. The competent authority is the best judge to look into these aspects of the case. The Court cannot substitute or rewrite a policy in a case like the present one.
“That being the position, the petitions of the petitioner is devoid of any merit. These entail dismissal and are, accordingly, dismissed along with all connected MP(s). Interim directions, if any, in force as on date shall stand vacated. As a corollary to the order passed hereinabove, the contempt proceedings bearing No. 485/2015 shall stand, accordingly, closed. Registry to place a copy of this order on each file as also on the contempt petition aforesaid,” Justice Hanjura ordered.
The petitioner had stated that he being a political activist, he and his family members had been threatened with dire consequences by militants. The petitioner approached the competent authority for the allotment of accommodation in some protected area. This request of his was considered and appreciated by the competent authority vide Government Order No. 52-Est of 2010, dated 26th of March, 2010, wherein his residential accommodation was shown in Set No. W-4, Tulsi Bagh, Srinagar. Thereafter, the petitioner, apprehending that he may be evicted from the said government accommodation, filed a writ petition, being OWP No. 1040/2015.
The respondents, in their objections filed in opposition to the writ petition, have stated that the petitioner has not come before the Court with clean hands as, on the one hand, he has claimed that there is a threat to his life and liberty as also to his other family members and, on the other hand, the petitioner has, in his petition, admitted that he visits his home every weekend and returns therefrom on every Monday.
It is stated that mere affiliation of the petitioner or any other person with any political party cannot be made a basis for obtaining allotment of government accommodation at Srinagar nor can the occupation of government accommodation by any other person be allowed to be taken as a ground for allotment of residential accommodation belonging to the Estates Department.
The respondents have proceeded to state that the petitioner and other similarly circumstanced persons, affiliated with different political parties having threat perception, have an alternate remedy available to approach the Inspector General of Police (IGP), CID, of the concerned Division of the state for providing government accommodation. After assessing the threat perception, the IGP CID shall forward his report to the IGP, Security. Based on this report of the CID wing, the IHP, Security, is the authority who decides whether or not government accommodation is to be provided to any such person.