DB dismisses appeal regarding land near Rly Stn

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 22: Division Bench of State High Court comprising Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, today dismissed an appeal regarding the land measuring five kanal near Jammu Railway Station.
The land was leased out for a period of 99 years to one Mangat Ram Gupta (now dead) and Bholi Devi on August 19, 1994 with the condition in the lease deed that if the Authority is satisfied that the land granted under rules is required for any public purpose, the Authority (JDA) shall be competent to acquire possession of such land and buildings erected thereon and appurtenants belongings thereto, after paying compensation to the lessee for such buildings and appurtenants.
As per the condition in the lease deed, the JDA issued notification for acquiring the land. However, the notification was challenged by the appellants in the High Court and the Writ Court vide its judgment dated December 29, 2000, dismissed three writ petitions, besides that filed by Mangat Ram Gupta and Bholi Devi. Aggrieved over this, the appellants filed present LPA.
After hearing Senior Advocate A H Naik with Advocate D S Chouhan appearing for the petitioner/appellant whereas AAG HA Siddiqui for the State and Senior Advocate D C Raina with Advocate Rohit Kohli appearing for the Shrine Board and Advocate Adarsh Sharma for the JDA, the Division Bench   observed, “the Trikuta Hills of Katra in Reasi district are the abode of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji. It is one of the most revered places of worships in India. Millions of people, who follow Hinduism, with the earnest and avowed purpose of having blessings and Darshan of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji  reach Katra and then to the Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi”.
For the convenience of the pilgrims, the Board has constructed Dharmshalla called Vaishnavi Dham near Railway Station, Jammu. The Chief Executive Officer, Commissioner Secretary to Government, Tourism Department, sent a communication dated April 25, 1995 to Deputy Commissioner, Jammu wherein the authority was informed that the Board has taken up the project for construction of the multi-storey Dharmshalla for yatries near Railway Station, Jammu.
The Deputy Commissioner was informed that the plot of land measuring about 5 kanal covered by Khasra No. 70 min of village Rakh Bandu  near Railway Station, Jammu, adjoining to the plot, where Dharmshalla is being constructed, be acquired immediately. It is in pursuance to this request that the Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, issued notification.
“The pilgrims have to be provided minimum barest facilities, which would include their boarding and lodging. For this purpose, Shrine Board can acquire property at Jammu. This right cannot be denied to the Shrine Board and power to acquire property outside limits of Katra is not restricted in terms of Act of 1988”, the DB observed.
With these observations, Division Bench dismissed the appeal.


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