HC directs SMC to file status report on sealing within day

Srinagar, Oct 9: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday directed Srinagar Municipal Corporation to file status report with regard to buildings, which have been sealed by the SMC in the City...

Srinagar, Oct 9: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday directed Srinagar Municipal Corporation to file status report with regard to buildings, which have been sealed by the SMC in the City for violation of Master Plan. 
 Passing directions on a Public Interest Litigation against illegal structures, a division bench of High Court comprising Chief Justice, MM Kumar and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey asked Firdous Ahmad Mir representing SMC as Standing Counsel to file the status report within a day.  
 The Court directed the SMC to file expeditiously the status report by Thursday and listed the case for next hearing on October 11. 
 In its strong observations, the division bench today said those who violate law would not be spared. "Nobody will be able to sleep in Srinagar and the City will be a nightmare if you allow illegal constructions" the Court observed.
 Following the submission of the counsel, Firdous Ahmad Parray representing the petitioner that the media reports suggest that violations of the Master Plan still go unbridled, the Court said if the reports highlighting the violations are found true then SMC will be in trouble.
 On September 30, the High Court had directed the Srinagar Municipal Corporation to seal within three days 45 buildings that had come up in violation of the Master Plan.
 SMC was also directed to file the status report regarding sealing of the buildings with the Registrar Judicial on October 4, 2013.  
 The Court had observed that the "Object and Scheme of the Act" known and styled as Jammu and Kashmir Control of Building Operations Act 1988 had been violated in the construction of various buildings in the City.
 The Court had passed the directions after it perused the report of SMC stating that show-cause notices were issued against violators on 6-3-2009 following which demolition order was passed on 16-3-2009. The SMC, as per the status report, again had issued show-cause notices against violators on 26-2-2013. 
 The Court had questioned  as to why after passing the demolition orders on 16-3-2009 the necessity of issuance of show-cause notices again was felt by SMC.
 Meanwhile the Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking "interim relief" into the sealing of "illegal" buildings in Srinagar.
 The HDFC Bank Ltd, which had a branch in one of the 'illegal" buildings had moved Supreme Court seeking "interim relief" but a division bench comprising Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh while dismissing the Special Leave Petition observed that the Court "did not find any legal and valid ground for interference."
 The petitioners were represented by Advocate Faisal Qadri and FA Parray while the SMC and SDA were defended by Advocates FA Mir and GJ Bala.
 The aggrieved of sealing order were represented by the Counsels—ZA Shah, Reyaz Jan, Mian Abdul Qayoom and Manzoor Ahmad Dar.

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