The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has directed the Jammu and Kashmir Government and the Jammu Municipal Corporation, in particular, to ensure that no structure is allowed/permitted to be raised on public road, street, pathway, lane etc.

The bench of Acting Chief Justice Tashi Rabstan and Justice Rajesh Sekhri also ordered to remove any such structure that is erected within last five years.

The Court observed that encroachments have become a menace. The Court further added that every citizen has a fundamental right of movement and it cannot be allowed to be breached.

"…encroachments have become a menace especially in this party of the country and all directions passed by this Court from time to time to maintain the order on the public road and public street have fallen on the deaf ears of the concerned authorities. It is pertinent to mention that every citizen has a fundamental right of movement and it cannot be allowed to be breached in public.", the Court noted.

The Court also observed that illegal constructions like signboards, hoardings, illegal constructions on public premises, public roads and public lanes cause hindrance and interruption in free flow and movement of traffic as also the smooth movement of the foot-walkers.

The Court made this observation while dealing with a plea by Jammu Municipal Corporation.

Senior AAG S. S. Nanda appeared for the Corporation whereas Advocate S. S. Ahmed appeared for the Respondents.

In this case, a complaint came to be filed by the inhabitants of Mohalla Ustad Jammu through alleging inter alia that someone had installed Khokhas by encroaching upon the public street.

A show cause notice followed by a demolition notice was issued.

However, the Tribunal quashed the demolition notice primarily on the ground that respondent No. 1 being deaf and dumb was 100% disabled and petitioner had already accepted monthly rent of the Khokha, therefore, respondent No. 1 was directed to deposit the monthly rent as per the Municipality rates.

The Court observed that it had complete sympathy with respondent No. 1 that he is a specially-abled person with 100% disability.

However, the Court held that he cannot be allowed to raise any structure, be it temporary or permanent, over the open space provided to him to earn his livelihood.

Before parting with the case, the Court noted that there is no fundamental right or legal right to encroach upon a public lane or public street and raise construction of any kind thereon.

Cause Title- Jammu Municipal Corporation v. Mohd. Nadeem and Anr.

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