Jammu, January 20: The demolition of the residence of former Revenue Minister, Raman Bhalla has been stayed by the Vacation Judge of State High Court Justice Janak Raj Kotwal untill 5th of Feburary. However, it has directed the J&K Special Tribunal to decide Raman Bhalla’s appeal against demolition notice within the next two weeks.
As per reports in a local daily, When the writ petition filed by Raman Bhalla came up for hearing, Advocate Abhinav Sharma with Advocates A K Sawhney, K K Pangotra, S M Choudhary and Tarun Sharma submitted that the petitioner has been rendered remedy less as the J&K Special Tribunal has kept in abeyance the status quo order earlier passed on the plea of the caveat filed by Prof S K Bhalla and the Tribunal further directed the parties to seek clarification from the High Court which had passed a detailed order on December 3, 2015 in a writ petition filed by Prof S K Bhalla.
The advocate was appearing for Raman Bhalla in reply to a petition filed by SK Bhalla seeking demolition of Raman Bhalla’s house. He also submitted that the matter has been fixed before the Tribunal on February 5 and there is no protection against the demolition as the status quo order earlier passed was kept in abeyance by the Tribunal on December 30, 2015.
While advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed was appearing for Prof S K Bhalla. He argued that the instant petition is not maintainable as the clarification, if any, has to be sought in the writ petition filed by Prof S K Bhalla wherein directions had been issued to the JMC to take action against Raman Bhalla with regard to alleged major violations.
He also said that the Raman’s appeal against demolition is pending before J&K Special Tribunal and Tribunal requires directions to decide the same within a specified period. Also, the petitioner Raman Bhalla is a influential and in case time is not specified then the appeal will remain pending in the Tribunal for years to come.
Advocate Sheikh Shakeel further submitted that JMC also had joined hands with Raman Bhalla and had not issued any notice to him when the illegal construction was in process. It was the RTI that exposed JMC for not initiating any action against the former Revenue Minister.
The Advocate Sachin Gupta who was appearing for JMC submitted that the petitioner has indulged in major violations and his statutory appeal against demolition notice is pending before the J&K Special Tribunal which is only competent to adjudicate the matter against the notice issued under Section 7(3) Control of Building Operation Act.
The Justice Janak Raj Kotwal after hearing all the three parties in the open court order stay over the demolition of former Revenue Minister’s residential house till February 5, 2016 with the direction to the J&K Special Tribunal to decide Raman Bhalla’s appeal against demolition notice within two weeks.
The court also directed the parties to appear before the J&K Special Tribunal on February 5, 2016 and clarified that the status quo order will remain valid till February 5.