Jammu: The Jammu Municipal Corporation pursuant to the directions passed by the State High Court in a writ petition filed by Social Activist Prof S K Bhalla whereby directions had been issued to the Municipal Commissioner, Jammu to take action warranted under law in regard to alleged major violations resorted to by Former Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla in construction of his palatial house, issued demolition notice to the Former Revenue Minister under Section 7(3) of J&K Control of Building Operations Act, 1988 vide No.MJ/CEO/41/3/2015 dated December, 21, 2015 requiring the former Minister to demolish 1724 sqft illegal construction at first floor and 1134 sqft at ground floor of his house at Deeli, District Jammu within five days from the date of the service of the said notice.
The Former Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla filed an appeal before the J&K Special Tribunal Jammu through advocate Danish Bhat challenging the demolition notice issued by the Jammu Municipal Corporation.
Member Judicial J&K Special Tribunal Ramesh Kumar Wattal after hearing advocate Danish Bhat noticed with concern that Jammu Municipal Corporation was served notice but despite service none appeared on their behalf and after considering the submissions made by the counsel for appellant Raman Bhalla the Member Judicial directed that status quo as on date with regard to nature and stage of construction be maintained on spot with further directions that no construction shall take place in violation of the order and provisions of Control of Building Operations Act.
The Tribunal reportedly ordered that this order is liable to be varied, modified or cancelled on motion of the objections by the Jammu Municipal Corporation. The Tribunal further fixed the matter on January, 19, 2016.
In the appeal the appellant Raman Bhalla has submitted that JMC has no authority to demolish the structure in question for the very reason that it never objected to the construction and in fact supervised the same on daily basis and the construction was raised in accordance with the approved site plan.
It is further urged in the appeal that the construction was completed way back in the year 2013 as per sanctioned plan and no fresh construction has been undertaken.
It is worthwhile to mention herein that Jammu Municipal Corporation was in deep slumbers and it is only when Prof S K Bhalla filed a writ petition in the State High Court highlighting lackadaisical approach of JMC in not proceeding against the influential former Revenue Minister.
Prof Bhalla had relied upon a status report filed by SVO in the State High Court wherein it was disclosed that the former revenue minister has indulged in unauthorized construction by violating the approved plan i.e. 1724 sqft illegal construction at first floor and 1134 sqft at ground floor of his house at Deeli, District Jammu and despite violations no action was initiated against the Former Minister by the JMC and further it was on a RTI disclosure that JMC confessed that no action has been taken against the former Revenue Minister for committing violations of the approved plan.
Taking cognizance of the matter, Justice Bansi Lal Bhat of J&K High Court (Jammu Wing) had directed the Municipal Commissioner, Jammu to take action as warranted under law against the Former Revenue Minister for the alleged major violations and pursuant to said order the JMC got activated and issued demolition notice to the Former Revenue Minister and upon appeal preferred before J&K Special Tribunal the status quo has been directed to be maintained on spot.
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