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J&K estates deptt. issue show-cause notices to former CM, two former Dy. CMs and 39 other

PIL seeking eviction of ex-ministers / former MLAs from unauthorized government accommodation

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J&K estates deptt. issue show-cause notices to former CM, two former Dy. CMs and 39 other

PIL seeking eviction of ex-ministers / former MLAs from unauthorised government accommodation

Jammu, April 19

In a significant development, the Director Estates Jammu/Kashmir acting upon the directions of a Division Bench of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh dated April 03, 2024 passed in the much publicized PIL No.17/2020 seeking eviction of over-staying Ex-Ministers/Ex-Legislators has issued show-causes notices of eviction to 42 occupants.

Those who have been given notices following High court directions include former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Deputy Chief Ministers Muzaffar Hussain Beigh and Kavinder Gupta, former Ministers Sajjad Gani Lone, Moulvi Imran Raza Ansari, Sat Sharma, G.M. Saroori, Sunil Sharma, Abdul Gani Vakil, Abdul Majid Padder, Hakeem Mohammad Yasin, Former MLAs/MLCs Ravinder Raina (State President, BJP), R.S. Pathania, Pardeep Sharma, Family of  Late Rajesh Gupta, Vibodh Gupta, Daleep Singh Parihar, Ravinder Sharma, Neelam Langeh, Shoaib Nabi Lone, Haji Abdul Rashid, MS Panditpuri, Raja Manzoor, Nizam-u-Din Bhat (Ex-VC, J&K Muslim Specified Waqaf and Waqaf Properties), Mir Mohd. Fayaz (Ex-MP), Zafar Iqbal Manhas, Abdul Rahim Rather, Bashir Ahmed Dar, Mohammad Amin Bhat,  Sofi Yousaf, M.Y. Tarigami, Yasir Reshi, Surinder Ambardar, Mohammad Abbas Wani, Political Persons namely Shafiq Mir (Chairman Panchayat Conference), Shilpi Verma, Tariq Ahmed Keen, Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar, Zahid Hussain Jan, S.S. Channi,  Sona-ullah Lone and Reyaz Ahmed Mir. The notices asked all these politicians to appear before the Director Estates Jammu/Kashmir in person or through virtual mode for giving the written response along with the documentary evidence, if any, in support of continuation of accommodations of allotment at Jammu/Srinagar or otherwise within 10 days from the date of receipt of these notices.

A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice N. Kotiswar Singh vide its order dated April 03, 2024 had directed both the Director Estates Jammu/Kashmir to deal with each and every person (43 in number) and to pass specific individual orders either for cancellation of accommodation and eviction therefrom or allotment thereof by giving specific reasons for doing so.

The Division Bench had further clarified that if the accommodation of any individual mentioned in the report is continued, specific reasons supported by necessary materials must be provided before this Court so that this court will examine as to whether the authorities have taken an appropriate and fair decisions as regards the Govt. accommodation being presently provided to these 43 persons.

Sr. Additional Advocate General S.S. Nanda filed an application seeking modification of Division Bench order dated April 03, 2024 on the ground that the Estates Department without losing anytime proceeded in the matter and issued notices to the occupants under reference in the PIL. It is further submitted that in view of the enforcement of Model Code of Conduct and the timeline prescribed in the order passed by this court, there may be legal impediment in calling such occupants and passing appropriate orders on merit, in furtherance of the directions passed by the Hon’ble High Court and the Estates Department has sought the permission to defer these proceedings till June 04, 2024 and thereafter the process will be taken to its logical conclusion to meet the directions issued by the Court.

It is worthwhile to mention herein that the Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice M.A. Chowdhary had also directed both Director Estates Jammu/Kashmir that they will also inform  the court, how much rentals these 43 persons had been  paying with supporting documents/receipts since the time they ceased to hold the offices on the basis of which they were allotted these officials accommodations and why they have not charged rental at commercial rates since they are not holding any office as of now. This matter of wide public importance will be re-heard on May 8, 2024.


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