SC seeks names of officials posted in Kasauli during illegal construction

New Delhi, May 9:  The Supreme Court today sought to know from the Himachal Pradesh government the names and designations of officials who were posted at Kasauli when the unauthorised constructions came up there.
The apex court also asked the state to apprise it about the specific steps taken to ensure that no uauthorised construction was being carried out in the entire state and how it proposed to tackle the issue.
A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta also asked the state about the steps it proposes to take to remove the debris of unauthorised constructions which were demolished in several hotels at Kasauli.
“Unless you take action and remove four-five people from service, nothing will fall in line,” the bench told the advocate general of Himachal Pradesh.
The apex court asked the state to file a status report on the questions raised by it and posted it for hearing in the first week of August.
The Supreme Court had earlier termed as very unfortunate the killing of a woman officer, who was supervising demolition of an unauthorised construction, allegedly by a Kasauli hotel owner saying it was due to the “non-implementation” of law.
Assistant Town and Country Planner Shail Bala Sharma had on May 1 gone to supervise the demolition of unauthorised construction at Kasauli’s Narayani Guest House where its owner Vijay Singh had allegedly shot at her. She later succumbed to injuries, while another government official accompanying her had sustained serious injuries.
The apex court had pulled up the Himachal Pradesh government and said it cannot “encourage” people who break the law and carry out illegal constructions while asking it to ensure implementation of the law on illegal constructions.
Terming the Kasauli incident as a “huge problem” for the future, the apex court had asked the state government to apprise it about the status of probe in the case and the steps taken to ensure that no unauthorised constructions were carried out in the entire state.
The bench had also directed the counsel representing Himachal Pradesh to inform it about the status of implementation of the court’s order on demolition of unauthorised constructions in 13 hotels at Kasauli.
“What has been brought to our notice is that there were illegal constructions in Kasauli. We do not know if illegal constructions are going on in other places in the state. If people will start taking law in their own hands and say we will construct illegally and when the people will come to seal and close it on court’s order, we will shoot them dead, then who will go to seal it,” the bench had said.
The state’s counsel, while assuring the court that they would look into this aspect, had said four teams were set up to carry out demolition drive as per the court’s order and the team, of which the deceased was also a part, had 14 police officials. The bench was also informed that the accused had taken the property in his mother’s name.
The apex court, which had taken cognisance on its own on the firing incident, had on April 17 asked the state to demolish unauthorised structures in 13 hotels and guest houses in Kasauli and Dharampur areas of Solan. (PTI)