Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Special Tribunal Srinagar Monday pulled up Commissioner of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) saying action regarding the illegal structure had to be in consonance with law.
The Tribunal’s order came on an appeal filed before it against a communication, which called for demolition of a structure at Rawalpora area here but the alleged violator was not provided an opportunity of being heard before initiating the action.
“In case, the Commissioner SMC decides to initiate any action under law in respect of the illegal structure, it shall have to be in consonance with the law,” the Tribunal said.
It said that the person at whose instance the illegal construction had been raised should have to be put on notice prior to such action providing a reasonable opportunity to him to show cause why such action should not be taken.
“However, instead of issuing order to the violator and that too by the Commissioner, the Enforcement Officer concerned issued a communication to the Ward Officer, concerned for demolition and removal of encroachment on December 5, calling for the demolition to be carried out on December 12,” the Tribunal said.
“Such illegal actions reflect in poor light on the functioning of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation and give rise to avoidable litigation at the cost of taxpayer's money,” the Tribunal said after hearing the counsel for the appellant, Advocate Sajjad Mir.
The Tribunal noted that by providing a copy of the communication to the “appellant for obvious reasons, the responsibility of the Commissioner is being transferred to the Tribunal, as observed in a number of cases where the lawful process is circumvented”.
“The impugned communication is therefore set aside, with the direction to the Commissioner to follow the mandate of law, as per the enabling provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000 and Jammu and Kashmir Unified (Building) Bye-Laws, 2021,” it said.
The Tribunal said that the appeal against an order of demolition was appealable before the Special Tribunal under sub-section (2) of Section 253 of the act.
“The instant case does not fall within the purview of such appeal. However, the matter falls within the ambit of Section 403 of the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000.”