HC seeks updated status report of eviction of Former Ministers who are still unauthorizedly residing in Ministerial Bungalows

Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey grants 10 days times to Sr. AAG to update the status/ compliance, on the Affidavit of the Principal Secretary/ Secretary to Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Estates Department, as regards the directions passed by this Court qua eviction of such Former Ministers/ Former MLAs/ Retired IAS Officers/ MLCs/ Political persons, who are still unauthorizedly residing in Ministerial Bungalows as well as A, B and C-type accommodation of the Estates Department; both at Jammu as well as at Srinagar and recovery of outstanding amount from the authorized/ unauthorized occupants.

          Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey further directed that  the Affidavit shall also furnish the details of recoveries, if any, made of the outstanding amount of rent from these authorized/ unauthorized occupants on the basis of the calculations made in accordance with the norms governing the subject.

          When the petition came-up for hearing, High Court observed that by order dated 11th of February, 2020, this Court directed Sr. AAG to update the response/ compliance of orders passed on 08.08.2018, 23.10.2018 and 13.112018. Principal Secretary to Government, Estates Department, shall submit the details of unauthorized occupants evictedfrom Ministerial Bungalows/ Special houses (A-type, B-type and C-type quarters) till date. The Principal Secretary to Government, Estate Department, shall also provide the details of former ministers/ legislators/ retired officers/ politicians who are occupying the Ministerial Bungalows/ Special Houses (A-type, B-type and C-type quarters) both in Srinagar and Jammu, within a period of two weeks. The respondents shall also ensure that all unauthorized occupants Ministerial bungalows/ Special Houses (A-type, B-type and C-type quarters) both at Jammu and Srinagar, are evicted forthwith. The respondents shall also ensure that outstanding rent from both authorized and unauthorized occupants of the Ministerial Bungalows/ Special Houses (A-type, B-type and C-type quarters), are recovered, by even applying the provisions of Land Revenue Act.”

          Court further observed that Compliance Report in relation to the aforesaid directions passed by this Court stands filed on behalf of the Principal Secretary to Government, Estates Department, wherein at paragraph Nos. 3 to 7, it has been stated that it is respectfully submitted that the answering respondent has been very prompt to comply with the orders of this Hon’ble Court and in filing compliance to directions thereof. So far as the details of unauthorized occupants evicted from Ministerial Bungalows/ Special Houses (A-type, B-type and C-type quarters) at Srinagar/ Jammu, till date, it is submitted that over 200 evictions have been effected so far. A copy of updated statement indicating the details is enclosed as Annexure-I. So far as the details of former ministers/ legislators/ retired officers/ politicians who are occupying the Ministerial Bungalows/ Special Houses (A-type, B-type and C-type quarters) in Srinagar and Jammu are concerned, a copy of updated statement indicating the details is enclosed. So far as the eviction of unauthorized occupants of Ministerial Bungalows/ Special Houses (A-type, B-type and C-type quarters), both at Jammu and Srinagar are concerned, the answering respondent submits that the Estates Department is taking all the possible steps to ensure eviction of all the unauthorized occupants and in this regard process of eviction has already been initiated and notices have been served to them as an last and final opportunity.So far as recovery of outstanding rent from both authorized and unauthorized occupants are concerned Deputy Director Estates Srinagar/ Jammu stands directed to recover all outstanding rent from occupants of the Ministerial Bungalows/ Special Houses (A-type, B-type and C-type quarters) vide communication dated 14-02-2020 and further both the Deputy Directors have started recovering pending rent from all the occupants. “

          High Court after perusal of the Compliance Report so filed by the Principal Secretary to Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Estates Department, alongwith annexures appended thereto, reveals that a large number of Former Ministers/ Former MLAs/ Retired IAS Officers/ MLCs/ Political persons are still unauthorizedly residing in Ministerial Bungalows as well as A, B and C-type accommodation of the Estates Department, both at Jammu as well as at Srinagar. Besides, it is also forthcoming that huge amount, in lakhs of rupees, is outstanding on account of rent against these categories of authorized/ unauthorized occupants and that no effective steps have been taken by the Department either to vacate the said persons or recover the outstanding amount from them, despite there being directions passed by this Court from time to time and granted time to file updated status report. JNF

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