Srinagar, Aug 25: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has allowed the Army to carry out repairs and maintenance works of its existing structures in Sonmarg.
In the backdrop of restraint imposed by the court, the Army in its application had sought permission to carry out maintenance and repairing works in respect of the existing structures in High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) and other transit camps located in Sonamarg.
As the matter came up for hearing, Deputy Solicitor General of India (DGSI) Tahir Majid Shamsi furnished before the court the details of the works for maintenance to be executed in the Army installations in Sonamarg.
He submitted that disclosure of the detailed particulars might compromise with the security of these installations.
The Army submitted that various structures require urgent maintenance and repairing before the onset of winter, which otherwise would not be possible once winter sets in and that the “time window is very small”.
Allowing the application, a Division Bench of Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice M A Chowdhary said: “The Army and security forces can be treated to be a class by itself distinguishable from other commercial enterprises.”
“Considering that carrying out the maintenance and repair works are urgently required, and the fact that this pertains to security of the nation which is of paramount importance, and thus cannot be equated with other commercial enterprises engaged in profit making activities,” the court said. “The Army and security forces can be treated to be a class by itself distinguishable from other commercial enterprises.”
The bench said: “We are of the view that an exception can be made to the restraint orders passed by this court and the application should be allowed to carry out the maintenance and repair works as mentioned in the report.”
The court held that under these circumstances, the bar placed by it should not come in the way of the Building Operations and Controlling Authority (BOCA) to consider and give permission to the Army authorities to undertake maintenance and repair work as sought by them.
“Accordingly, we allow this application by directing that the restraint order passed by this Court on various dates, including on March 27, 2023, will not come in the way of grant of permission by the BOCA to the Army authorities for carrying out necessary maintenance and repairing works in Sonmarg Army installations and locations as sought by the Army applicant,” the bench said.