Court directs J-K admin to file status of unauthorized occupants in ministerial bungalows

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Division Bench of High Court of J-K and Ladakh comprising Chief Justice Tashi Rabstan and Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi granted two weeks time for filing the latest status regarding the unauthorised occupants of government accommodations who were issued eviction notices in the year 2018 and despite lapse of more than four years, the eviction has not been effected.

These court directions were passed in response to a PIL highlighting the unauthorised occupation of ministerial bungalows by the ex-ministers, MLAs at Jammu and Srinagar.

Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocates Supriya Chouhan and Muhammad Zulkarnain Choudhary appearing for the petitioner drew the attention of the Division Bench towards a latest information received from estates department wherein “it was divulged that on 21 December 2018, the Deputy Director Estates, Jammu issued eviction notices to former Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta, Bali Bhagat (Former Health Minister), Sunil Kumar (Former Minister) and others whereby all of them were directed to surrender their ministerial bungalows by or before 21 December 2018 and in default, the Estates Department would initiate eviction proceedings under rules including charging of penal rent as described under SOP notified vide Government order No.99-Est of 2018 dated 15.10.2018”.

Advocate S S Ahmed further submitted that till date, the unauthorized occupants have not vacated the ministerial bungalows nor the Estates Department initiated eviction proceedings against the unauthorised occupants.

After considering the submissions of Advocate S S Ahmed, the Division Bench observed that the Estates Department has issued eviction notices in the year 2018 against some of the unauthorized occupants of government accommodations, however, despite lapse of more than four years, the eviction has not been effected. The Division Bench accordingly directed Sr. AAG Monika Kohli appearing for the government to file latest status on the issue within a period of two weeks.

The case has been listed for the next hearing in 27 February. [KNT]

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