SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court in an order on September 13 asked the UT administration of Jammu and Kashmir to furnish within a week a list of politicians who despite having an alternative accommodation, were occupying government houses in the UT’s capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar, The Indian Express reported.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Rajesh Sekhri in its order further directed the administration to also specify the category of the allotted accommodation so as to find out whether it conforms the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Estates Department (Allotment of Government Accommodation) Regulations 2004.
This followed when Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed, the counsel for the petitioner, in a PIL drew the attention of the bench that many a allottees in the list furnished by the government have their own houses in Jammu or in Kashmir and as such, they were not eligible for allotment of government accommodation even under its discretionary quota as per provisions in the Regulations 2004.
Moreover, a number of them were in possession of government accommodation which was higher than their entitlement, he pointed out.
The bench asked Senior AAG S S Nanda to furnish these details within a week so that appropriate orders can be passed, as “it will not be permissible under law to provide accommodation to any person who has an alternative accommodation within the meaning of Rule 5 or Regulations of 2004’’.
The list of allottees encompasses politicians from various political parties, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, the leader of the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as Muzaffar Hussain Beigh, a former PDP MP and minister, and Ravinder Raina, the former BJP MLA and J&K president.