HC directs SVO to file fresh status report

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Aug 14: In the much publicized petition filed by Prof S K Bhalla alleging construction of a palatial house by the former Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla on State land, High Court today directed State Vigilance Organization to file fresh status report indicating the progress achieved in the probe before the next date of hearing—week commencing September 7.
After hearing Prof S K Bhalla in person and AAG P C Sharma appearing for SVO, Justice Tashi Rabstan went through the status report wherein it had been highlighted that the demarcation of the land in question has been conducted and the demarcation report has been received from the revenue agency and the same is under examination.
The status report further said that Jammu Municipal Corporation has also inspected the site for examining the violation of the site plan if any and the report of the Jammu Municipal Corporation is awaited.
Prof Bhalla submitted that the status report was totally silent on the disproportionate assets angle and the SVO has not commented about the probe on this aspect. He further submitted that in his complaint to the SVO he had categorically submitted that the cost of the construction runs into crores of rupees but the SVO has not taken care to hold enquiry on this issue. He further submitted that the former Revenue Minister has also encroached the nallah and is using the encroached portion as parking place besides he has installed a security picket there.
He further submitted that during demarcation none of the senior officers associated themselves and the demarcation was conducted by the subordinate revenue officials like Naib-Tehsildar, Girdawar and Patwari. He further submitted that even Tehsildar South did not associate herself with the demarcation proceedings nor SDM South Jammu joined the demarcation proceedings. He further submitted that Deputy Commissioner, Jammu should have gone on spot at the time of demarcation and the demarcation should have taken place in his presence and supervision.
After considering the submissions, Justice Tashi Rabstan directed AAG P C Sharma appearing for the State Vigilance Organization to file the fresh status report before the next date of hearing. The court looking into the importance of the issue directed the Registry to list this petition in the week commencing September 7.

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