J&K HC | Special Tribunal’s order directing compounding of violations on payment of compounding fee is illegal and promotes lawlessness and callous attitude towards authority

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: Rajesh Bindal, J. stayed the order of the Special Tribunal and called such action illegal.

A brief background of the case goes on to show that the respondent was the owner of a plot located in Jammu. Without any permission from the competent authority, he raised the construction of a residential house thereon. It includes the lower ground floor, ground floor and first floor. No set back was left. Though the covered area allowed on such plot was 75% still 100% construction had been raised. This resulted in the safety of the house as well as the neighbors being jeopardized. The present petition was filed against the order of the Special Tribunal in July 2020.

The Court criticized the actions of the Tribunal pointed out that in cases where the construction is raised without prior permission and leaving no setback, no compounding is possible. But here it was seen that the Tribunal by passing a totally illegal order had directed compounding of the violations on payment of compounding fee. It was further pointed out by the Court that such types of orders have been encouraging total lawlessness as everyone feels that they can raise any construction without permission and later on the same shall be compounded.

The Court while staying the order of the Tribunal passed an order which also indirectly were to serve as an example for others directed that anyone floor of the building in question be sealed by the petitioners, at the option of the respondent.

The Court also took a stringent view of the shortfall in duties of the Khilaf Warzi officer of the area concerned who was also accountable and kept his eyes shut when the construction was being raised without any sanctioned plan or was made to do so.

The concerned authority was ordered by the Court to take strict action against such Khilaf Warzi officer and report to Court.[Building Operation Controlling Authority, Jammu v. Jagdish Raj Pahalwan, 2020 SCC OnLine J&K 495, decided on 25-09-2020]

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