Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 22
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today called for an affidavit specifying whether NOCs were issued by the UT Administration/competent authority indicating not only the owner’s share, but also the floor. The direction came nearly five years after the brick-by-brick demolition of the city’s glorious past with the raising of apartments from the debris of palatial houses came under the judicial scanner.
During the course of the hearing, the Bench of Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa and Justice Vivek Puri referred to an office order, dated August 20, issued by the UT Assistant Estate Officer. The Bench asserted that its perusal gave the impression that the Estate Office, while issuing the NOC to banks to facilitate certain loan transactions, mentioned the share percentage as well as the floor. Accordingly, a clarification was circulated that fragmentation of property was not allowed in Chandigarh and only the percentage of share may be indicated.
The Bench, as such, called upon the counsel representing the UT, Anil Mehta, to clarify whether NOCs had been issued by the UT Administration/competent authority indicating not only the share but also the floor.
“During the course of the hearing today, counsel Mehta took a categoric stand that the necessity of issuing order/clarification, dated August 20, had arisen only on account of one solitary NOC having been issued indicating not only the share, but also the floor, and that also on account of a court decree having been passed,” the Bench observed.
Before parting with the order, the Bench directed counsel Mehta to ensure filing of a specific affidavit by the Assistant Estate Officer, UT, to substantiate his stand. “The affidavit be placed on record positively on September 23,” the Bench concluded. The High Court Bench of Justice Dhindsa and Justice Puri had earlier scanned newspaper advertisements to find out whether floor-wise sale of dwelling units was contemplated. Finding no less than two dozen such advertisements in the Sunday edition of newspapers, the Bench had not only rapped the UT Administration, but also directed the holding of an exercise under the UT Chief Architect’s supervision.
The Bench had observed that it thought of scanning the advertisements as the court was seized of the matter and discovered 24 advertisements in the Sunday edition “scouting for purchasers /investors for separate floors/independent floors”.
Reproducing the advertisements, the Bench added that it lent credence to the petitioner-Residents Welfare Association that independent floors were being sold under the garb of sale of a certain percentage share of a residential unit.
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