JAMMU : In a Public Interest Litigation seeking eviction of all unauthorised occupants including former legislators as well as ministers from government accomodations, the Division Bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, has granted two weeks time to government for submitting latest report on the matter.
The DB comprising Chief Justice (Acting) Tashi Rabstan and Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi granted two weeks time to Sr. AAG appearing for the Government of J&K/Estates Department for filing latest status regarding the unauthorized occupants of government accommodations who were issued eviction notices in the year 2018 and despite lapse of more than four years, the eviction has not been effected.
Appearing for PIL on behalf of petitioner, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocates Supriya Chouhan and Mohd. Zulkarnain Choudhary draw attention of the Court towards a latest RTI information received from Estates department wherein it was divulged that on December 21, 2018, the Deputy Director Estates, Jammu issued eviction notices to former Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta, Bali Bhagat (Former Health Minister), Sunil Kumar (Former Minister) and others whereby all of them were directed to surrender their ministerial bungalows by or before December 21, 2018 and in default, the Estates Department would initiate eviction proceedings under rules including charging of penal rent as described under SOP notified vide Government order No.99-Est of 2018 dated 15.10.2018.
Further, Advocate Ahmed submitted that till date, neither the unauthorised occupants have vacated accomodations nor the Estates Department initiated eviction proceedings against the defaulters.
The Counsel of the PIL petitioner also apprised the Court that Estates Department has been selective in carrying out evictions of the politicians as Ex-Ministers/Ex-Legislators belonging to a particular political party having access to the corridors of power extended immunity from eviction.
Considering the significance of the matter and facts submitted by Advocate Ahmed, the Court directed the Registry to re-notify the instant PIL on February 27, 2023.