Special Tribunal Imposes Fine on Hotel for Permit Fraud

   

SRINAGAR: Member Special Tribunal Jammu, imposed a Rs 5 lakh penalty on Trinetar Hotel at Patnitop for operating for over a decade based on fraudulently obtained building permission.

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The appeal under Section 13 of the J&K Control of Building Operation Act, 1988, concerns the construction of Hotel Trinetar on a plot of land measuring two kanals at village Karlah.

The appellant, claiming to be the Attorney Holder of the landowner and Proprietor of Hotel Trinetar, Shakuntala Kotwal, obtained Power of Attorney on 6th June 2005. On 04.12.2020, the respondent issued a notice under Section 7(1) of the J&K Control of Building Operations Act.

After hearing both sides, the Special Tribunal noted that the appellant had benefitted for over a decade from a fraudulently obtained building permission. The Tribunal also observed that the appellant wasted judicial time in a frivolous litigation for more than three years. Consequently, the Tribunal imposed a Rs 5 lakh penalty on the appellant, to be deposited in the Advocates Welfare Fund within one month.

The Tribunal noted that the issue in the appeal is similar to cases pending before the High Court, including OWP No. 963/2012 and PIL No. 22/2018. The Tribunal directed the respondent authority to conduct a thorough inquiry within one month and initiate statutory proceedings under Section 7 of the COBO Act, 1988, based on the inquiry’s outcome.

The Tribunal set aside the defective demolition order and granted the respondent authority the liberty to prevent unauthorized use of the building under Bye Law No. 2.12 of the Jammu and Kashmir Unified Building Bye-Laws, 2011. This order does not prejudice ongoing investigations by the Anti-Corruption Bureau or the outcomes of pending High Court cases.

The Tribunal directed the registry to return the record to the Chief Executive Officer, Patnitop Development Authority, and convey the order to relevant officials, including the Chairperson, BOCA, Patnitop, and Deputy Commissioner, Udhampur. The order was also to be brought to the notice of the Financial Commissioner, Revenue, J&K, and other relevant administrative authorities.

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