Court Issues Bailable Warrants Against Top Jammu Kashmir Officials


SRINAGAR: A Court in Ganderbal has issued bailable warrants against several high-ranking officials of Jammu and Kashmir for failing to comply with a court order mandating compensation for land acquisition.

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The top officials include the Commissioner Secretary Revenue Civil Secretariat Srinagar, the Commissioner Secretary R&B Department, the Collector of Land Acquisition, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Tehsildar Lar, Chief Engineer R&B Rajbagh Srinagar, and Executive Engineer R&B Division Ganderbal.

The case stemmed from a prolonged legal battle involving Noor Mohammad Gojar Chichi and Ghulam Hassan Gojar Chichi, residents of Lar, Ganderbal, who sought compensation for their land appropriated by the Roads and Buildings Department for road construction. The petitioners had argued that their land was taken without due compensation, violating the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Act 2013.

Represented by Advocate Iqbal Ahmad Reshie, they contended that there had been no action despite a clear court order on October 31, 2022, directing the defendants to assess and compensate the land within two months. They argued that this inaction was a blatant disregard for the rule of law and the rights of the landowners.

On the other hand, the defendants, represented by Standing Counsel Ms Burjeena, acknowledged the appeal filed against the initial judgment but admitted that no stay had been obtained from the appellate court. They argued that the appeal process justified the delay in compliance.

In a scathing critique, the sub-judge’s court presided over by Judge Fayaz Ahmad Qureshi, emphasised that mere filing of an appeal does not equate to a stay on the judgment. Despite the lapse of more than eight months, the judgment debtors had failed to comply with the court’s order, undermining the legal process and the plaintiffs’ rights. The court noted that the defendants appeared to treat the judgment as insignificant, reflecting a troubling disregard for the judicial system.

The court reiterated the original judgment, which declared the plaintiffs entitled to compensation and directed the defendants to assess the land taken and process compensation accordingly.

Given the continued non-compliance, the court ordered bailable warrants against the judgment debtors with bail set at Rs 50,000. Additionally, the court directed that the salaries of all judgment debtors be withheld until compliance with the judgment. The DIG Central was instructed to execute the warrants and produce the officials before the court if they failed to furnish bail bonds.

The next hearing is set for July 9, 2024, by which time compliance is expected.


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