SRINAGAR: High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh has granted last opportunity to the government for submitting response to the plea seeking removal of Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and made it clear that in case the response is not filed by next date, the matter will be decided without response.
Four Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Councillors have approached the court seeking removal of Commissioner SMC, Athar Amin Khan. The Councillors Mohammad Saleem Lone representing Ward Habak Naseembagh Srinagar, Inayat Hussain Mir representing Ward Nawab-Bazar Srinagar, Mohammad Saleem Bhat representing Ward Mahjoor Nagar Srinagar and Nazia representing Ward Hawal Srinagar plead that they are against the appointment of the Commissioner as he does not fulfil the eligibility for the post which he is holding.
They plead that the appointment is against the provisions contained in J&K Municipal Corporation Act which prescribe the conditions for appointment of the Commissioner.
Khan has absolutely no authority in law to hold the public office of Commissioner and discharge the duties because he is neither eligible to hold nor competent to man the post.
According to news agency KDC, Justice Sanjeev Kumar after hearing these councillors through their advocate Shuja-ul-Haq Tantray granted further four weeks time to the authorities for reply with the rider that in case the reply by next date is not filed then the matter will be considered without their reply.
The Government on 26-2-2021 issued an order whereby transfer and adjustment and posting of various IAS officers was made on different posts and by virtue of the said order, Athar Amin Khan a 2016 batch IAS officer came to be appointed as the Commissioner SMC.
The petitioners submit that the appointment and adjustment of present incumbent as Commissioner SMC has been made dehors the provisions of J&K Municipal Corporation Act 2000 as such they against this appointment have challenged the same through medium of the instant writ.
The Act specifically provides that the Government shall have all the powers of appointing a Class -I Gazetted Officer as Commissioner SMC but the officer having less than 15 years’ experience cannot be appointed and posted as Commissioner SMC.