Court attaches SMC EO’s property

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Nov 21: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court today attached the property of the Enforcement Officer of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) for allowing gross violations of Srinagar Master Plan.
The Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magray directed the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar to take over the properties of the Enforcement Officer of SMC, Hakeem Aijaz Ali, as mentioned in the affidavit which he has submitted before the court.
The court has directed the DC to hand the property over to the concerned Tehsildar, who has been asked to report to the Registrar Judicial of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court within 5 days.
The Court took strong exception of the property statement filed by the Enforcement Officer before the court. It observed that the officer has given the details of his property and not the source of income through which he has raised the property.
The Court has given some relief to those violators of Srinagar Master Plan whose buildings have been sealed by the SMC by directing them to file appeals before the Special Tribunal within seven days. This has been done as different cases have a different nature. “The court can’t apply same yard stick to every case”, the court observed.
The court directed that it is the duty of the special tribunal to return the findings and if satisfied pass the orders and submit them before the Registrar Judicial. “However, aggrieved party can approach this court against tribunal’s decision”, the court directed.
The SMC counsel had submitted property statement of 95 SMC officials before the court except Joint Commissioner SMC who had moved application before the court praying for grant of exemption from filing the property statement on the grounds that he was not part of the Enforcement wing of the SMC.
The Court, however, said that refusal to file property statement makes him doubtful and directed him to file the statement within 5 days.
The court also directed that the officials should file bank statements of their children and spouses which they had not filed as per the previous court order.
Counsel of one of the violators in his arguments alleged that the SMC has been selective in sealing the properties of the violators of the Srinagar Master Plan. He argued that as per the statement of the Advocate General there are 3000 violations of the Master Plan and only 42 building have been sealed so far.

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