Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh Thursday imposed Rs 25,000 as costs on the government for an adjournment in a petition after authorities failed to submit objections to a plea regarding a land dispute case in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Miffed at not responding to its directions, a division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Javed Iqbal Wani said, “The writ petition and the connected petitions are pending since 2013. All the official respondents have not yet filed a counter affidavit despite several opportunities in the past.”
The penalty of Rs 25,000 is in addition to Rs 10,000 imposed by the Court on Collector Land Acquisition, Shopian on June 2 this year.
While the court pointed out that one of the respondents, Collector Land Acquisition, District Shopian, was directed to file objections to the writ petition, it said he had not filed it despite the imposition of cost of Rs 10,000 vide order dated June 2, 2022.
The court said that the officer was also directed to remain present before it but he had not cared to appear nor had he deposited the costs probably for the reason that the order dated June 2, 2022, was never communicated to him.
At this state Additional Advocate General (AAG) M A Chashoo prayed for and was granted a week’s further time to file objections.
He was also asked to ensure the presence of the Collector Land Acquisition, District Shopian, and to deposit the cost of Rs 10,000 imposed earlier.
“Since it is a matter of 2013, we are not inclined to adjourn it but the circumstances have compelled us to do so,” the court said.
The court listed the petition on July 20, 2022, on which date, it said, the Collector Land Acquisition, Shopian, should remain present in the court along with the record.
The court asked the AAG to ensure that the costs of Rs 10,000 imposed in terms of the order dated June 2, 2022, are also deposited.
“The aforesaid adjournment is subject to payment of the further cost of Rs 25,000 which shall be paid and deposited by the next date,” the court said.