Jammu and Kashmir High Court has ordered that if any vehicle is found carrying construction material for second time in and around the Dal lake, it will not be released till finalization of the criminal proceedings before a competent court.
The direction came after a division bench of Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar, and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur disposed of applications, seeking release of vehicles seized while carrying construction material in the lake in violation of court orders.
"The applicant shall deposit Rs 15,000 with an undertaking to the satisfaction of Registrar Judicial that his vehicle is involved for the first time in carrying the building construction material in violation of the prohibitory orders of this Court and that he will not use the vehicle to carry the material in violation of the Court order in future," the bench said in its order on an application.
In the affidavits, owners of these vehicles have been directed by the Court to state that the seized material shall remain in custody of the police concerned subject to further orders to be passed by the competent criminal court. The first time offenders have been asked to state in the affidavit that, "If the vehicle once released by this order is found again violating the prohibitory orders of this Court, the same shall not be released till finalization of the criminal proceedings by the competent Court,".
The owners have been directed to assure that the vehicle to be released is not facing any criminal proceedings before any Court.
"The affidavit to be filed by the owner of the vehicle, stating that the vehicle of the applicant is involved for the first time in carrying the building construction material in violation of the prohibitory orders, shall be verified by the concerned police authority before releasing the vehicle," the bench said.
The bench held that the order passed by it "will not stand in any way with regard to investigation and in the proceedings pending in criminal court and the same shall be decided in accordance with law".
The bench said in the Public Interest Litigation (159/2002 dated 19-7-2002,) the authorities have been directed to prevent transportation of building construction material of any kind into the water bodies. The Court held that it has also prohibited construction activity within 200 meters from the centre of the Foreshore road.
R A Jan, Advocate General, submitted that in spite of the prohibitory orders issued by the High Court, the vehicles are being used to transport the building material in the Dal and other water bodies.
The applicants through their counsels approached the court with the plea that their vehicle was seized by police station Harwan for allegedly carrying building material saying they were "never involved in the offence."
Senior lawyer Z, A, Shah appeared as Amicus Curie in the case.