|Early Times Report|
JAMMU, Dec 15: A Division Bench of State High Court Comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan took serious note of the state for not complying with the directions, and directed Divisional Commissioner, Jammu; Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation, Vice-Chairman, JDA and; the SSP, Jammu to work together to ensure compliance of the directions passed by this Court. A joint report of the entire action which has been taken by the authorities, signed by the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu shall be filed before the Court three days before the next date of hearing.
Division Bench observed that Pursuant to our order dated 3rd of December, 2018, a status report dated 12th December, 2018 has been filed which is accompanied by an affidavit of Pawan Singh Rathore, Vice-Chairman, Jammu Development Authority (JDA).
DB further observed that the status report disclosed that out of 12401 kanals and 14 marlas land notified by the State Government to be transferred to JDA in and around Tawi River bed from Nagrota TO Phallan Mandaal, only 4527 kanals and 17 marlas have been demarcated and rest of the land is yet to be demarcated and handed over to JDA by the concerned revenue authorities"
In the said status report, it has been stated that despite repeated requests to the Revenue staff of the State Government, the steps for demarcation are not being completed and large extent of land is yet to be handed over to JDA.
DB further observed that so far as the removal of encroachments as well as stoppage of illegal construction is concerned, the Jammu Municipal Corporation is required to undertake the same. Despite reminders and requests made by the JDA, no steps against the encroachers have been taken.
DB further observed that the aforesaid directions clearly apportioned the responsibility on the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, who otherwise heads the Revenue Department. DB further observed that It cannot be disputed that in law, the responsibility of ensuring that no constructions are raised in violation of the provisions of the Jammu Municipal Corporation Act rests solely on the Jammu Municipal Corporation which is headed by the Municipal Commissioner. DB further observed that the latest position brought by the JDA on record in its status report dated 12th December, 2018 clearly suggests that not only the statutory responsibilities and the public law obligations are not being discharged jointly by the concerned authorities, but also the failure of these authorities to comply with the specific directions of this Court borders on contempt of the court. Additionally, the failure to discharge their statutory responsibilities as well as public law obligations is extremely detrimental to public interest.
DB granted last opportunity to all the official respondents to ensure compliance of all the directions passed by this Court in this matter so far and also directed respondents to prepare a soft copy of the videography of the action taken by them; the current status of the land which is the subject matter of these writ petitions as well as the constructions which have been raised on the land which belongs to the statutory authorities.