High Court Steps In, Asks Govt To Form Panel To Check Master Plan Violations

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SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked the government to appoint a committee which should include a judicial officer to detect the violations in Srinagar Master Plan. The said committee has been asked to come up with its report before the High Court.

In an order passed here today, a double bench of the High Court comprising of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey has censured Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) for shielding its indolence.

The court said that SMC may be exhibiting tip of the iceberg. “It, therefore, becomes necessary to have a cross check of the violations brought to the notice of this Court by the Municipal Corporation as also to detect the actual number and extent of such violations. In order to achieve that objective, we propose to appoint a committee comprising of a reputed Government Officer, a retired Judicial Officer of the rank of Principal District and Sessions Judge and a member of civil society of good repute, who shall undertake the exercise of detection of such violations in the city and make a report to this Court,” reads the order passed by the High Court.

The court mentioned about the violations in Srinagar Master Plan in detail observing that it wonders whether all these violations could have taken place without the connivance of, and patronage by, the officers and staff of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, particularly those who are, or were, posted in these respective areas designated by the Municipal Corporation as Wards and Zones. “It is not the case of the Corporation that such huge structures have come up overnight. It is not indicated anywhere what immediate actions were initiated by the Field Staff under law to prevent such violations.”

“Certainly these illegal constructions must have been raised within the knowledge and active connivance of the concerned field staff of the Corporation, and, may be, for ulterior motives. The Corporation has not disclosed anywhere what steps it has taken to identify such defaulting staff members and what action it proposes to take against them,” reads the court order.  

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