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Chandigarh

Posted at: May 20, 2017, 1:35 AM; last updated: May 20, 2017, 1:35 AM (IST)

HC sets 2-month deadline for removing Sec 17 violations

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has set a two-month deadline for occupiers/tenants of Sector 17 shops to remove violations before filing affidavits on compliance before the UT Estate Officer. He, in turn, has been asked to get a fresh inspection done thereafter before submitting report to the High Court.

The directions by the Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Sudip Ahluwalia came on a bunch of petitions filed against the Union Territory of Chandigarh and other respondents by Simla Book House through a battery of lawyers, including Mansur Ali, Vikas Bahl, Nitish Garg and Vinod S Bhardwaj.

As the case came up for resumed hearing, UT senior standing counsel Suvir Sehgal placed before the Bench a status report submitted by the Assistant Estate Officer after inspecting the premises. The report indicated that the petitioners-occupiers/tenants had committed building violations. Taking up the matter, the Bench asserted: “The amount of penalty to be imposed on the occupiers for their continuing violations will be determined on the next date of hearing. The occupiers/tenants will be permitted to inspect the original revised building plan, duly sanctioned by the Estate Officer, and/or to obtain copies thereof at their own expenses.”

The High Court, on the previous date of hearing, had ordered the de-sealing of ground floor shops. The Bench had also directed the Assistant Estate Officer to inform the occupiers about the non-compoundable violations on the premises for their removal. In one of the petitions, Mansur Ali contended that a property dealer/builder, in connivance with UT Administration officials, got the impugned order passed. As a result, “a lawful tenant in a building has been virtually ousted without taking recourse to the provisions of Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971”.Ali added even if the building was resumed because of certain violations by the landlord or co-tenants, respondent Estate Officer could not have sealed the building on asking of on asking of the respondent property dealer/builder

The building was initially resumed on December 7, 1999, since tenants on the ground floor had allegedly carried out some building violations by raising alleged illegal structures. Instead of six shops, 12 shops were allegedly created.

The court was told that the petitioner came to know that the ownership changed hands. The respondent claiming ownership on the basis of general power of attorney complained that the building was resumed because of violations. As such, the same be sealed. Without issuing notice to the petitioner, the impugned order was passed on January 27.

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