HC seeks Govt policy on buildings built in violation of Master Plan

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Apr 6: The High Court today sought status report regarding policy framed by the Government for those structures and buildings across the State which have been raised in violation of building permission and Master Plan.
Counsel representing State as well as the counsel for Srinagar Municipal Corporation submitted that the Government has framed a policy for those structures which have come up in violation of building permission and other relevant laws.
Court has also been informed that an empowered committee in this regard has been constituted and time has been sought for making these decisions available for perusal of the court.
The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice MK Hanjura granted time upto April 24 for placing the policy and decision of Empowered Committee before the court.
As the matter came up for consideration, the State counsel submitted that as per previous Court direction, Policy has to be place on record and sought some time for that, which the Court granted to him.
Pertinently court in 2013 had directed for sealing all those complexes, shopping malls raised in Srinagar city in violation of Master Plan and provision of building permission.
It is after sealing order of all these structures passed by the Court the then Government (NC-Congress) came with a legislation under the name of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Laws (Special Provisions) Act 2014 for protection of these structures which including shopping complexes and malls in Srinagar city which have been raised in violation of building permission and Master Plan, as the Court direction for sealing of these structures was in force.
The Act (moratorium) says that no building or structure raised in violation of master plan shall be demolished or sealed till finalization of policy to deal with unauthorized construction.
“……no building or structure shall be demolished or sealed, and no penalty shall be imposed in respect of such building or structure, on the ground of such building or structure having been constructed or erected in violation of Master Plan pending finalization of the policy under Section 3”, read the Act.
The said Act was extended to all the areas within the jurisdiction of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Srinagar Development Authority, Jammu Municipal Corporation as also Jammu Development Authority.
The Act came into force in March 2014 and was enforceable up to March 2015. Thereafter the next Government PDP-BJP coalition Government in the month of April 2015 introduced a bill in Assembly seeking extension of moratorium on action against unauthorized constructions till December 2015 so as to complete the revision of Master Plan.
The sealing of these structures was passed by the Division Bench in PIL filed on account of public concern about large scale violations of various Acts and Building Laws prepared for planned development of Srinagar city.