Asks civic body to file compliance report supported by commissioner’s affidavit
Srinagar: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on Tuesday expressed its displeasure with the Srinagar Municipal Corporation authorities for failing to file an updated report about an illegal construction of a hotel in the vicinity of Gogji Bagh in Srinagar.
The direction was passed after the court recorded that the compliance report filed by the SMC authorities is not up to the mark.
“We are at pain to say that the status report filed on behalf of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation on 16 August, 2021, is not up to the mark and it fortifies the fact as indicated in the order dated 5 October, 2020, that the officers and the staff of the Srinagar Municipal corporation are in league with the defaulters/violators,” said the Bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Mohammad Akram Chowdhary.
In this regard, the Bench directed the SMC counsel Moomin Khan to file a better compliance report pursuant to the Order dated 5 October, 2020, clearly responding to all the shortcomings which have been pointed out in the order.
“The compliance report should be supported by the affidavit of the Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation,” the bench directed.
The court also directed that the officer will also indicate the action which was taken on the complaints received by the neighbours or the residents of the area regarding unauthorized construction being raised by the violators.
Previously, the court had stayed the construction of a hotel in the vicinity of Gogji Bagh Srinagar while directing SMC to depute a team of responsible officers to take still photographs and video of present status of construction of the building.
However, the SMC has failed to file any such report before court.
The court had also directed officials to apprise the names of the Khilafwarzi officers, who remained posted in the area during the period the construction was raised.
Earlier the Special Tribunal had allowed the building owners namely Habibullah and Rashid Anwar to carry on with the construction without hearing SMC counsel and the inhabitants of Gogji Bagh, Srinagar.
The High Court had noted that in the case in hand, even principles of natural justice have not been followed as neither the counsel for Corporation was heard nor the applicants who had filed application for being impleaded in the appeal were apprised of the date of hearing.
A plea was filed by inhabitants of Gogji Bagh, Srinagar against the construction of a hotel in the residential area.
The petitioners pleaded that though permission was taken for a Guest House but it was converted into a hotel with no proper parking or other facilities available.
“The same will certainly affect the privacy of the residents in the area,” residents had pleaded before the court.