Illegal constructions at Patnitop: CBI asked to submit status of investigation in pursuance of FIR



JAMMU: In a PIL filed by Harcharan Singh, a Hotelier and owner of Krystal Hotel and Restaurant at Patnitop seeking demolition of illegal/ unauthorised buildings raised in Green Buffer areas of Patnitop, a Division Bench of J&K High Court comprising Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sindhu Sharma directed Monika Kohli counsel for CBI to apprise the court regarding status of investigation in pursuance of registered FIR. The Division Bench, on December 31, 2019, has directed CBI to conduct in-depth enquiry into the matter within two months. It is expected that J&K Tourism Department would initiate penal action against all hoteliers, who are running the Hotels without registration and those whose registration have expired and report to court, accordingly.
AAG FA Natnoo, appearing for Patnitop Development Authority (PDA) informed that appropriate actions have been taken against violators. DB directed AAG to inform action taken for filing of appeals against orders of Special Tribunal compounding major violations. When PIL came-up for hearing, Division Bench observed that pursuance to the order dated December 31, 2019 passed by the Court, an action taken report has been submitted by CBI in sealed cover. DB, after perusal of aforesaid report, observed that apart from many irregularities pointed out therein, the Court noticed that 37 hotels were constructed unauthorisedly, without permission of Patnitop Development Authority in violation of master plan and out of 58 hotels registered with the J&K Tourism Department under provisions of J&K Registration of Tourist Trade Act 1978, 21 hotels either have not been registered or their registration has expired. Court further stated that FIR dated August 1, 2020 has been registered against wrongful gainers/owners/proprietors of the hoteliers and the officers of Patnitop Development Authority and directed CBI to apprise the court regarding status of investigation in pursuance of aforesaid FIR.