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Posted at: May 27, 2019, 6:58 AM; last updated: May 27, 2019, 6:58 AM (IST)

MC faces contempt for failure to remove encroachments

MC faces contempt for failure to remove encroachments
Land at Daresi Ground in Ludhiana has been encroached on by a charitable hospital. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 26

Drawing flak from various quarters for its lackadaisical attitude towards brazen encroachments on government/public land, the Municipal Corporation has yet again been pulled up by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for failure to act against encroachments at Daresi Grounds (in old city) by religious and healthcare institutions. Issuing a notice of motion in a contempt of court petition (COCP 1855 of 2019), the HC has asked the MC to show cause as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated for inaction. The case would come up for next hearing on July 26.

Taking up the petition, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur noted that the COCP had been filed for violation of the orders dated October 4, 2008, passed in CWP 4886 of 2003.

“Huge land was encroached upon by religious and healthcare institutions (in Daresi Ground) where shops were also constructed and commercial activity was being carried out in violation of terms and conditions of the lease agreement. Neither the encroachments were removed by the MC nor the lease was cancelled which shows that the respondents (MC) are hand in glove with the said institutions,” observed the Judge while issuing a notice of motion to the MC.

The petitioner, Subhash Kundra, alias Katty, said the respondent (MC) had submitted a status report by way of an affidavit on March 14, 2008, in the course of hearing of CWP 4886/2003 wherein a list of 33 institutions, who had encroached upon the government land, was presented before the HC.

“On serial numbers 3 to 5, names of Sita Mata Mandir, Shri Ram Charitable Hospital and Geeta Mandir were mentioned who were in possession of 1,783, 1,793 and 601 square yards of land in Daresi Ground given on lease with the stipulation that no commercial activity would be carried out on this land and the lease would be liable to be cancelled in case of any violation,” stated the petition.

The MC was also charged with providing wrong information to the HC in the status report just to protect the illegal encroachment and commercial activities carried out by these religious and healthcare institutions.

What petitioner says

Maintaining that the area under encroachments by these institutions was much more than mentioned in the status report submitted before the HC, the petitioner alleged that the report also failed to mention that the Shri Ram Charitable Hospital and Geeta Mandir had constructed 28 and eight shops, respectively, on the government land in violation of terms and conditions of the lease agreement.

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