High Court of J&K and Ladakh asks Estate Dept to pass individual orders on occupation of govt quarters : The Tribune India

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High Court of J&K and Ladakh asks Estate Dept to pass individual orders on occupation of govt quarters

High Court of J&K and Ladakh asks Estate Dept to pass individual orders on occupation of govt quarters


Our Correspondent

Jammu, April 4

Passing directions on a PIL seeking eviction of overstaying ex-ministers/ ex-legislators, a Division Bench of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh at Jammu, comprising Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice MA Chowdhary, has ordered Director Estates, Jammu and Srinagar, to deal with each and every person (43 occupants) and pass specific individual orders either for cancellation of accommodation and eviction or allotment thereof by giving specific reasons for doing so.

PIL seeks eviction of ex-legislators

  • HC Division Bench has directed Director Estates, Jammu and Srinagar, to deal with each and every person (43 occupants) and pass specific individual orders either for cancellation of accommodation and eviction or allotment thereof by giving specific reasons for doing so
  • The Division Bench of the Hih Court, headed by Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh, further directed the Director Estates, Jammu, and Director Estates, Srinagar, to also hear all these 43 persons individually before any such order was passed
  • The PIL stated that almost all the overstaying ex-legislators had their own residential houses at Jammu/Srinagar cities but the Estates Department was not evicting the said occupants because of political clout being enjoyed by them being close to the seat of power

“We make it clear that if the accommodation of any individual mentioned in this report is continued, specific reasons supported by necessary materials must be provided so that this Court will examine as to whether the authorities have taken an appropriate and fair decision as regards the government accommodation being presently provided to these 43 persons,” stated the Division Bench.

After hearing advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with advocates Rahul Raina, Supriya Chouhan, M Zulkarnain Choudhary and Syed Majid Shah appearing for the petitioner whereas senior additional advocate general SS Nanda appearing for UT of J&K, the Division Bench headed by Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh further directed that the Director Estates, Jammu, and Director Estates, Srinagar, both shall also hear all these 43 persons individually before any such order is passed.

In other words, both the Directors will pass specific individual orders in respect of each and every of the 43 persons aforementioned after hearing them and such separate individual orders shall be placed on record by the next date of hearing.

The Division Bench further directed both the Directors of Estates Department that they will also inform the court how much rentals these 43 persons had been paying with supporting documents/receipts since the time they ceased to hold the offices on the basis of which they were allotted these official accommodations and why they have not been charged rental at commercial rates since they are not holding any office as of now.

The Division Bench further observed and directed that it goes without saying that while passing such separate orders in respect of the aforesaid occupants, the authorities shall keep in mind the provisions of the J&K Estates Department (Allotment of Government Accommodation) Regulations, 2004, and also various orders passed by the Court.

When this much publicised PIL came up for hearing, advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed drew the attention of the Division Bench towards the latest status report dated February 23, 2024, and apprised the Division Bench that almost all the overstaying ex-legislators have their own residential houses at Jammu/ Srinagar cities but the Estates Department is not evicting the said occupants because of political clout being enjoyed by them being close to the seat of power.

Advocate Ahmed specifically highlighted the cases of former chief minister of J&K, Ghulam Nabi Azad, former deputy CM Kavinder Gupta, ex-minister Sajjad Lone and alleged that dual standards have been adopted by the Estates Department on political considerations and law of the land has been thrown to winds and evictions were earlier carried out selectively.

#Jammu #Kashmir #Ladakh #Srinagar


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