Rashid Paul

HC dismisses petition seeking allotment of shops

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Allotment of shops at Hazuri Bagh complex…

Srinagar July 03: The J&K High Court today dismissed a writ petition by some “fraudulent” persons seeking allotment of shops in the government owned shopping complex at Hazuri Bagh.

Justice A M Magray dismissed the petition on the ground that the petitioners had misled the court for being dislocated by the government through its demolition drive against road vendors.

The petition titled Muhammad Shafi Rather & others versus State of J&K & others merits dismissal and is therefore dismissed together with connected CMPs, ordered the court.

The court also vacated all the interim directions passed so far in the case and asked the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to refund the amounts received by it, if any, from the petitioners towards the payment of premium for the promised shops at Hazuri Bagh Shopping Complex within a period of two months.

The petitioners claimed that they were dislocated shopkeepers of Hazuri Bagh, Srinagar, and asserted to have been assured allotment of shops in the Hazuri Bagh Shopping Complex constructed by SMC.

They further claimed that they deposited the first installment of the premium and approached the court through a writ petition, seeking direction to SMC to allot them the assured shops in Block-C of the Shopping Complex.

Lately it was found that the SMC officers including the then Assistant Revenue Officer Ab. Rehman Taploo, then Ward Officers Farooq Ahmad Mir & Gh Mohidin Misger and the then Dealing Assistant Ab Aziz Pir had prepared a list of 120 dislocated shopkeepers for rehabilitation in reference to a High Level Committee meeting dated 16.06.1993.

The list was found to be ambiguous and an FIR no.16/2012, at Police Station Vigilance Organisation Kashmir was lodged.

The investigation into the case culminated into filing of a charge sheet in the Court of Special Judge, Anticorruption, Srinagar in 2015 against 68 accused persons including the petitioners in the instant case.

Investigation in to the case revealed that a number of persons intended to be covered under the allotment of shops scheme were not born or were minors during the period of the scheme.

There were also complaints that persons who were not actually doing business during the relevant period had been made entitled to allotment of shops with mala fide motives, inasmuch as these shops upon auction could fetch more than Rs.50.00 lacs as against the cost that was being charged by the SMC on the basis of rehabilitation.

The court while dismissing the writ petition today said that the petitioners herein have been party to the preparation of fake documents by the Municipal Officers, like Assistant Revenue Officer and Ward Officers concerned and, therefore, they are accused in the criminal case pending adjudication in the court of competent jurisdiction concerning the fraud etc.

They, therefore, have approached the Court with unclean hands, making statements built on fake documents.

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