Srinagar, Dec 6: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh on Wednesday asked Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and Deputy Commissioner Srinagar to comply with its orders regarding payment of Rs 2,25,85,680 as rentals to a hotel for accommodation of “protected persons” or face contempt.
As a related contempt plea came up for hearing before the bench Justice Atul Sreedharan post break session, the court sought presence of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and Deputy Commissioner Srinagar to continue with the proceeding.
At around 3 pm, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and Deputy Commissioner Srinagar were present in the court. Declining their request, the court inexorably disagreed to grant them final opportunity for compliance of the judgment saying “it has already been granted”.
Miffed over the non compliance of court orders, Justice Sreedharan in the open court observed that both the officers were”, prima facie, guilty of the contempt of the court for failure to comply with the court directions to liquidate the rentals”.
The Court however ultimately took a lenient view after the duo pleaded for forgiveness and undertook to comply with the court’s order immediately.
Both the officers were directed to remain present before court at 3 pm on November 7 to report compliance.
On November 29 last, the court had observed that the contempt petition was pending compliance of the order dated 25 November 2022, which clearly reflects that there is an admitted liability by the authorities of Rs. 2,25,85,680. “This order was passed in the month of November 2022 and the same is not being complied with till date. The contempt petition itself has been listed since 06.03.2023 on 9 occasions,” the court had observed and granted “last opportunity” Sr. AAG to comply with the orders.
“If on the next date of hearing, the admitted amount due to the petitioner is not released, the contemnors shall remain personally present before this Court to answer the charge of contempt,” the court had said.
Pertinently, the court on November 25, 2022 had observed that it was manifest that the authorities have essentially admitted the claim as regards the rentals for occupation of the hotel situated at M. A. Link Road Bishembar Nagar, Srinagar to provide secured allotment to the DDC candidates, Panchs, Sarpanchs, Councillors following a circular issued by the authorities on November 7, 2020.
The court had been then informed that a communication dated August 4, 2022 addressed by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to the Additional Chief Secretary (Financial Commissioner) Home Department admitted the liability of the hotel detailing out the same to be Rs. 2,25,85,680.