J&K&L High Court Seeks Response On Politicians Residing In Govt Accommodation Despite Being Non-Eligible For Allotment
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court, at Jammu, has sought details of the politicians who are residing in government accommodation, despite possessing houses in Jammu or in Kashmir, as mentioned in the status report filed on March 28, 2023.
The bench observed that it will not be permissible under law to provide accommodation to any person who has an alternative accommodation within the meaning of Rule 5 of the Jammu and Kashmir Estates Department (Allotment of Government Accommodation) Regulations 2004. As per Rule 5, if a person owns or possesses a house in the concerned city in proprietorship or in default in the payment of licence fee/furniture rent for a period extending one year.
Accordingly, a bench of Chief Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice Rajesh Sekhri while directing the petitioner’s counsel to furnish details, also directed, “Mr. S.S. Nanda, learned Sr. AAG shall also furnish as to whether any of the persons mentioned in the aforesaid list has an alternative accommodation/house either in Jammu or in Kashmir so that appropriate order can be passed, as it will not be permissible under law to provide accommodation to any person who has an alternative accommodation within the meaning of Rule 5 of Regulations of 2004. Accordingly, the same may be done within a period of one week from today”.
Advocate S.S. Ahmed appeared for the petitioner and Senior AAG S.S. Nanda appeared for the respondent.
In the present matter, the petitioner had contended that a certain category of persons is not eligible for allotment of residential accommodation including those persons who own or possess a house in the concerned city or who are in default of payment of license fee, etc.
It was the petitioner’s plea that many of those persons have been given accommodation to such type of accommodation to which they are otherwise not entitled even if, they are deemed to be holding the offices
For the background Rule 5 of the Regulations reads, “5. Non-eligibility for allotment of residential accommodation: - Residential accommodation shall not be allotted to- (a) Persons who own or possess a house in the concerned city whether in proprietorship or lease or otherwise, whether by themselves or through their spouses, sons, unmarried daughters or parents. (b) Persons who are in default in the payment of license fee/ furniture/rent for a period extending one year.”
In the order, the bench also directed the respondents to indicate as to the nature of the accommodation provided to the allottees to examine whether such allotment conforms to Regulation 3 of the aforesaid Regulation of 2004.
Cause Title: Prof S K Bhalla v. Union Territory of J&K and others