Jehlum preservation: HC issues contempt notice to DC Anantnag

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed deputy commissioner Islamabad (Anantnag) to explain as to why contempt proceedings shall not be initiated against him for violating its directions on removal of encroachments along banks of river Jehlum.
Jehlum preservation: HC issues contempt notice to DC Anantnag
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The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed deputy commissioner Islamabad (Anantnag) to explain as to why contempt proceedings shall not be initiated against him for violating its directions on removal of encroachments along banks of river Jehlum.

A division bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey asked its Registry to issue show-cause notice to the DC seeking his reply within a week.

The direction came after the court observed that deputy commissioner Anantnag has observed its earlier order to file compliance report on removal of encroachments along river Jehlum and other water bodies in district Anantnag in breach. 

Earlier, in June, the court had granted deputy commissioner Anantnag three months time to remove encroachments along all water bodies in the district including river Jehlum. The DC was, however, asked to file compliance report with regard to the removal of encroachments every two weeks. 

In a separate direction, the court asked its Registry to issue non-bailable warrants against the engineers who were posted to monitor Padshahi Canal in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir from 1990, if they failed to file reply within a week to its show-cause notices. The court granted the engineers one more week for filing reply following the submissions by their counsels.

In its earlier orders, the High Court had issued show cause notices to those 'delinquent' engineers who had manned Padshahi Canal in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir from 1990 to explain as to why they shall not deposit Rs 25 lakh each in the state treasury for preserving the water bodies in Kashmir.

Some stringent action, the court had observed, was required to be taken against those who were posted in the area through which the Padshahi Canal passes saying it will leave lessons for the officers at present to learn.

In November last, the court had directed the engineers who were posted to oversee Padshahi Canal from 1990 till date to file an affidavit indicating movable or immovable property in their names or in the names of their spouse and dependents.

The direction had followed after the court perused an affidavit by the CE I&FC Kashmir stating that width of Padshahi Canal was ranging from 17 ft to 27 ft initially and has now shrunk to 3 ft or 5 ft. The affidavit, the bench said, shook the court deep down to its conscience.

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