SAC Holds Taj Guilty

KL Report

Srinagar

Jammu and Kashmir State Accountability Commission on Monday observed that the charge of committing contempt to the commission has been established against senior Congress leader and Minister of Irrigation and Public Health Engineering Taj Mohiuddin.

While pronouncing the judgment reserved last week, the commission comprising Chairman Justice (retired) Y.P. Nargotra, and Member, Justice (retired) Hakeem Imtiyaz Hussain, said that the charge of contempt against Taj had been established.

Taj had earlier claimed of getting clean chit from the SAC for allegedly grabbing forest land in Sadow, district Shopian.
SAC taking suo-motto cognizance of the statement of the minister had issued notice to Taj to explain why contempt proceedings can’t be issued against him as it has not issued anything chit in this regard.

“SAC finally framed contempt charges against Taj on Monady against his false claims of getting clean chit from the SAC,” a source in the SAC said.

PHE minister Taj Mohi-ud-din who had earlier claimed of getting clean chit from the State Accountability Commission for allegedly grabbing forest land in Sadow, district Shopian, appeared before the Commission last week and pleaded that he had not issued any such statement.

Taj, against whom the chairman of the upper House had constituted committee in the alleged land scam, which was later dissolved on Nov 12, had issued a press note claiming of having received clean chit both from the SAC and also vigilance organization.

SAC taking suo-motto cognizance of the statement of the minister had issued notice to him  on Dec 7 to appear in person before it and explain why contempt proceedings can’t be issued against him as it has not issued anything chit in this regard.

The minister in a letter to the forest minister, Nov 26, had said: “the issue under reference stands looked into by the Accountability Commission in the year September, 2005 and probed by Vigilance Organization, Kashmir in the year 2011 conveying that there is no Forest land grabbed.” The same was issued to the media.

Meanwhile, Taj is also facing music from SMC as well for violating the sanctioned plan of a five story building on residency road.

Jammu and Kashmir Special Tribunal, Srinagar has dismissed an appeal by PHE and Irrigation Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din against an order by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation for “grossly deviating building permission” granted to him for construction of a five storey commercial building at Residency Road last year.

According to the decision, a member of the tribunal, has found the contentions by Taj that there were only ‘minor deviations’ from the building permission and that Enforcement Officer (SMC Srinagar) was not empowered to issue demolition notice to him as “devoid of force.”

The SMC vide order (No. 520 of 2011, dated 27-01-2011) had granted permission to Taj for construction of the five-storeyed commercial building after dismantling the existing single-storeyed structure.

However, Taj while completing the construction grossly deviated from the building permission granted to him, the SMC has said, and accordingly issued two notices to Taj for demolition of the construction completed so far as it violates the sanctioned plan.

In his appeal, Taj had contended that while raising the construction, some “minor deviations have taken place due to advice by architect and to some extent on account of objections raised by neighbours.”

But the SMC, according to the tribunal member, contended the appeal was not maintainable for being legally and factually incorrect.

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