Shifting armed forces unit in Bandipora| Implement judgment or appear in person: HC to DEO

File photo of J&K High Court
File photo of J&K High CourtMubashir Khan/ GK

Srinagar, Oct 4: The High Court (HC) Monday asked the Defence Estates Officer (DEO) Kashmir to remain present on October 12 in person before it if the court's direction with regard to shifting of an armed forces unit in north Kashmir’s Bandipora area was not implemented in letter and spirit.

One Ghulam NabiReshi of Buthoo village of Bandipora district has filed a contempt petition through counsel B ATak before the court praying for implementation of a judgment the court had passed in 2015.

In 2011, Reshi and his brother Ghulam Rasool had filed a writ petition before the court seeking directions to the Army for vacating their “four houses” and the orchard land measuring “23 kanal, seven marlas”.

A single judge bench of the HC on 21 April 2015 had directed the Union of India to find an alternative site for the armed forces unit so that the petitioners were in a position to shift to their houses along with their family members.

It also directed the authorities to release the rent due to the petitioners.

With regard to payment of the rent, Assistant Solicitor General of India (ASGI) T M Shamsi submitted that the rent had been paid to the petitioners up to June this year.

Pointing out that in keeping with the single bench order, the exercise of shifting of the armed forces unit was to be completed within three months, Justice Sanjay Dhar said, “It is shocking that even after the lapse of six years the direction has remained unimplemented.”

Understanding that the authorities had not even sought extension of time for implementing its directions, the court said, “It seems that the respondents and authorities of Union of India are taking the orders of the court lightly and there is no seriousness on their part to implement these orders.”

The court said that a serious view was required to be taken in the matter.

On behalf of the DEO, ASGI Shamsi said that the land had been identified and only money was to be paid to the J&K government whereby possession would be taken and the armed forces unit would be shifted to the new site.

With the submission that the respondents (authorities) were awaiting the sanction of the funds, the ASGI sought a further 10-days time to comply with the order of the court in letter and spirit.

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