Prof SK. BHALLA
The Apex Court in the context of Delhi opined “Not a single brick can be laid without collusion of local police and the municipal authorities, the Supreme Court said while voicing concern over unauthorised constructions in the national capital”.
The top court said there should be judicial scrutiny of these matters and said it would constitute a judicial committee of two retired judges to deal with the decisions of the monitoring committee, formed to check illegal constructions.
Unauthorised constructions go in a collaborative exercise between the authorities and infringer, escalating the cost for the person who has made it. Rampant construction is going on and no brick can be laid without local police authorities and the municipal authorities colluding. Try to lay brick and they will come to your place. Whoever is in charge of that area, they have introduced a system of change. Every few months they change depending on the lucrative posting, a bench of Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh orally observed.
It said when an officer changes, no one accepts the responsibility and they will say it happened during the previous officer’s tenure. And this internal arrangement works quite fine. There must be some method to deal with it. Is there some suggestion to deal with it? In fact, we have become a trial court in this process. I am not saying that this court should wash our hands of the matter. There should be judicial scrutiny of these matters who can assist us, the Bench said.
The apex court said that endeavours to regulate illegal constructions by sending it to the tribunal or the Delhi High Court did not produce the desired result and thus the matter remained in the lap of this court.
What troubles are this, we are required to go into the decisions of the monitoring committees, whether administrative committee or appointed by this court which are akin to administrative committees. Analysing facts of each case we do believe that this is not the task of the Supreme Court more so when the number of applications has become so large that it is difficult to find time to deal with each of these applications,” the Bench said.
The situation in our UT does not need a detailed analysis. In both the cities of Srinagar and Jammu the malady of unauthorized constructions has become a chronic problem and the local Police, Municipal and development authorities are doing the repeat of Delhi.
A gent managing a web news portal has taken a vow that all the unauthorized constructions in and around Jammu must meet the fate of twin towers likely to be dismantled soon. More often the visual proof of unauthorized illegalities has been sent to the top brass of J&K but the results commensurate with the mess prevailing are not forthcoming as there is no will to rap the JMC, SMC, JDA, SDA and local bodies facilitating the non sense.
It now appears that again for this matter some judicial intervention is the need of the hour. First we should start with the big whales and pot bellied politicians and glib tongue bureaucrats. The local news paper magnates must also not be spared who have been repeatedly named and shamed.
कुछ देर की खामोशी है…. फिर शोर आएगा,
तुम्हारा तो सिर्फ वक्त है….हमारा दौर आएगा!
(The author is a retired Principal from J&K HED and Chairman Civil Vigilance Cell)