Jammu and Kashmir High Court: Vinod Chatterji Koul, J. dismissed the writ petition as a show-cause notice not reflective of any pre-disposition of mind of the authorities who have issued it.

In the present case, the petitioners who belong to the Nomadic Bakarwal community have contended that some 65 years ago they inhabited a certain piece of land by building a colony on the assurance of the then Revenue Minister. They further contended that the Divisional Commissioner was accordingly directed to take appropriate steps in the regularisation of the said colony. The petitioners have further averred that no steps were actually taken to pass regularisation orders and further, their houses were demolished by the respondents. Despite the fact that houses of petitioners are outside Forest land, the Forest Department had issued show cause notice against them. Aggrieved by this the petitioners filed the said Writ Petition.

The Court propounded the fact that both the Acts, viz. the Indian Forest Act, and the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act 971, provide issuance of show cause notice before proceeding ahead in the matter for removal of unauthorized occupation. A full-fledged mechanism is ingeminated in both the Acts. Taking into account the provisions of the Indian Forest Act and the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act 1971, respondents have rightly issued Show-Cause Notice upon petitioners.

Relying on Union of India v. Kunisetty Satyanarayana, (2006 12) SCC 28 according to which, writ petition is not maintainable against a show-cause notice, the Court held that the same will apply to the case at hand.[Jameel v. UT of J&K, 2020 SCC OnLine J&K 396, decided on 11-08-2020]

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