Spl Tribunal raps SMC Commissioner; directs him to follow mandate of law
‘Action against illegal structure has to be in sync with law’
Srinagar: J&K Special Tribunal Monday reprimanded the Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), asking him that action against the illegal structures has to be in sync with the law.
The order followed an appeal against a communication which called for demolition of a structure in Rawalpora in city outskirts — in which the alleged violator was not provided an opportunity of being heard by the Corporation.
“In case, the Commissioner SMC decides to initiate any action under law in respect of the illegal structure, it shall have to be in consonance with law,” the Tribunal said.
It said the person at whose instance the illegal construction has been raised shall have to be put on notice prior to such action, and he should be provided reasonable opportunity to show-cause why such action should not be taken.
However, instead of issuing order to the violator and that too by the Commissioner, the Enforcement Officer SMC issued a communication to the concerned ward officer for demolition and removal of an encroachment on December 05, calling for the demolition to be carried out on December 12.
“Such illegal actions reflect in poor light on the functioning of the Srinagar Corporation and gives rise to avoidable litigation at the cost of taxpayer’s money,” the Tribunal said.
It also said that by providing a copy of the communication to the appellant for obvious reasons, the responsibility of the Commissioner is being transferred to the Tribunal, “as observed in a number of cases where the lawful process is circumvented”.
It added “the impugned communication is therefore set aside, with the direction to the Commissioner to follow the mandate of law, as per the enabling provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, and Jammu and Kashmir Unified (Building) Bye-Laws, 2021.”
The Tribunal held that appeal against an order of demolition is appealable before the Special Tribunal under sub-section (2) of Section 253 of the Act.
It said “the instant case does not fall within the purview of such appeal. However, the matter falls within the ambit of Section 403 of the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000.