JAMMU: The final hearing in the much publicised appeal against the demolition of former deputy chief minister’s illegally constructed house at Ban in Nagrota was adjourned yet again, this time also due to the unavailability of Singhs’ counsel.
A court in Jammu has now fixed March 15 as the next date of hearing for final arguments in the case.
Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Dr Nirmal Singh and his wife Mamta Singh were issued a notice under section 7(3) of the Control of Building Operations Act,1988 for raising construction of a palatial house at village Ban in Nagrota area of Jammu district without seeking prior permission from Jammu Development Authority.
The JDA initially did not act against Singhs and it was only after an RTI application filed by whistle-blower Advocate Muzzaffar Ali Shah, the JDA disclosed that despite being informed about the alleged illegal construction from the Khilafwarzi Wing, it did not proceed against the high profile violators.
Subsequently, on the complaint of Shah, the JDA issued a demolition notice to Singhs directing them to remove the illegal construction on their own within five days failing which the JDA’s Khilafwarzi Wing would remove the violations.
Against the said demolition notice, Mamta Singh had filed a statutory appeal before the J&K Special Tribunal, which while taking cognizance of the appeal, stayed the operation of the demolition notice.
The stay has been extended from time to time and in the meantime, the JDA has filed its response stating that it’s a case of ‘Major Violation’ and appeal merits to be dismissed.
The matter was adjourned on various hearings due to the non-availability of the Bench-II at J&K Special Tribunal, Jammu as the Presiding Judicial Member of the Bench- Justice Rajesh Sekhri had been elevated as the Additional Judge of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh and today the case was adjourned for want of the arguing counsel of the Appellant Mamta Singh.
The matter is being heard by the Bench-II of the J&K Special Tribunal, Jammu headed by new incumbent Presiding Officer Rajiv Gupta, Member (J).
Advocate Rahul Sadotra appearing for the Appellant Mamta Singh sought adjournment and time to advance final arguments in the matter stating that the Arguing Counsel Senior Advocate R. K. Gupta was not available today, whereas Advocate Ankit Vaid appeared for JDA in the matter on the behalf of Advocate Adarsh Sharma.
The tribunal adjourned the hearing for March 15th, 2023, now.