JAMMU: In the much publicised Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a practising lawyer Irtiza Mushtaq Salaria highlighting illegal allotment of shops/flats/garages and other municipal assets by Jammu Municipal Corporation, Division Bench of High Court comprising Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sindhu Sharma today directed the Corporation to disclose the norms and criteria for allotment.
When the PIL came-up for hearing, the Division Bench observed, “this PIL is continuing for the last four years. The main grievance of the petitioner is that the Municipal Corporation Jammu had allotted 13 flats and a land of a pound to its officers without following any procedure of law and in an arbitrary manner”.
“These officers/employees of the Municipal Corporation were not entitled to any such allotment as probably for their residential purposes separate houses were constructed in Shakti Nagar, Jammu which have been allotted to the leaders”, the DB further observed after hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed, counsel for the petitioner in length.
Advocate Sachin Gupta appearing for the Municipal Corporation Jammu was called upon to justify the allotment of the flats and the land of the pound in favour of the private respondents and to demonstrate the procedure which was followed in the allotment.
“If it is alleged that the allotment was made to them as they were employees of Municipal Corporation, he is called upon to show the service rules entitling these officers/employees to the allotment as also the object of the construction of the houses and whether the same have been utilised for the purpose for which they were constructed”, the DB said.
DB further directed that in case any flat has been allotted to a private person, the JMC Counsel would explain how and in what manner the allotment has been made without issuing any advertisement or inviting applications from the public at large. (Daily Excelsior)