Special DB stays operation of Residential & Commercial Tenancy Act

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 12: Special Division Bench comprising Justice Virender Singh and Justice J P Singh today stayed the operation of J&K Residential and Commercial Tenancy Act, 2012.
The stay order was issued in the Public Interest Litigation filed by former Vice President of Bar Association Jammu, Chander Mohan Sharma through Advocates Pawan Kumar Manni, Vikram Sharma, Deepak Singh Baloria and Ashish Sharma.
In the PIL, it has been submitted that respondents have taken away the powers and functions of judiciary and have vested them with the Revenue Officers, adding taking away of powers of adjudication of landlord tenant disputes from judiciary does not qualify the touch stone of Legislative competence keeping in view the provisions of Section 12 and 18 of Constitution of J&K”.
“The provisions of Section 2(b) and 2 (n) read with Section 29 of the Act that define the Rent Controller, are a direct hit at the independence of the judiciary. A system that had been working actively for the past so many decades has been snubbed by the State, which, it seems is relying more on the class of Revenue Officers”, the petitioner said and prayed for quashing of Sections 2 (b), 2 (n), 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 55, 38 & 39 by virtue of which the powers of Civil Courts have been taken away from the judicial officers and vested with the officers of the Revenue Department.
During the course of arguments, the Counsels for the petitioner submitted that the Forums created by the J&K Residential and Commercial Tenancy Act, 2012, may not be able to discharge the adjudicatory functions. They further submitted that complexion adjudication of the rights created by the Act requires judicial and adjudicatory bent of mind.
Senior AAG Gagan Basotra and AAG HA Siddiqui submitted that they should be allowed four weeks time to have instructions of the Government for a re-look at Chapter VI of the J&K Residential and Commercial Tenancy Act, 2012.
After hearing Senior Advocate B S Slathia, Advocate Vikram Sharma, Senior Advocate Z A Shah with Advocate Vipin Gandotra, Senior Advocate U K Jalali with Advocate Megha Amla and Senior Advocate D C Raina with Advocate Pooja Raina for the Public Interest Litigation whereas Senior AAG Gagan Basotra and AAG H A Siddiqui for the State, the Division Bench observed, “keeping in view the nature of the issues projected by the petitioner’s counsels, time as prayed for by the State counsel needs to be allowed to them”.
Accordingly, the Special Division Bench ordered that operation of Jammu and Kashmir Residential and Commercial Tenancy Act, 2012 shall remain stayed till next date. The DB adjourned the case with the direction to the Registry to list on October 8, 2012.


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