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Jammu KashmirSpl Tribunal rips open the 'illegalities' in construction of Hotel at Patnitop

Spl Tribunal rips open the ‘illegalities’ in construction of Hotel at Patnitop


Imposes Rs. Five Lakh penalty for frivolous litigation

The Special Tribunal bench presided by Mr. Asif Hamid Khan, Member-III has imposed a penalty of Rs. Five Lakh on a Hotel at hill station Patnitop for wasting judicial time of the court in a totally frivolous and dishonest litigation for more than three years. The Special Tribunal in its order observed that the owners of the Hotel Trinetra, Patnitop reaped rich harvests for more than a decade on the basis of a building permission obtained by fraudulent means. It further ordered the respondent authority, which is the Patnitop Development Authority (PDA) in this case, to conduct a thorough inquiry in the matter to be completed within one month and the Authority shall initiate statutory proceedings afresh under Section 7 of the COBO Act, 1988.

The Spl Tribunal further granted liberty to the PDA to prevent the unauthorized use of building in question under Bye Law No. 2.12 of the and Unified Building Bye-Laws, 2011.

Controversy revolves around the construction of Hotel Trinetar at Patnitop Hill station in violation of rules and without obtaining proper and valid permission under the J&K Control of Building Operation Act, 1988 (COBO Act).

PDA issued a demolition order on 11.12.2020 under Section 7(3) of the COBO Act. The Hotel management challenged the demolition order before the Tribunal on 16.12.2020 in an appeal for protection.

In its demolition notice to Hotel Trinetar, the Patnitop Development Authority said that against the approved area of 18480 sft for the Hotel Trinetar, it  has carried out the  construction of 44634.52 sft at the site and to end the violation /encroachment of 26154.52 5ft, which is evident from the report of the committee, required to be removed.

The issue of illegal construction at Hotel Trinetar at Patnitop caught into multiple controversies, vigilance investigation and litigation at invariable times, it however, continued its functioning with the baggage of violations.

The Special Tribunal observed that on “Perusal of these communications suggest that Case FIR No. 32/2016 P/S VOJ was registered u/s 5(l)(d) r/w 5(2) J&K PC ACT Svt. 2006 & 120-B, RPC against K.K. Gupta, the then Chief Executive Officer, Patnitop Development Authority, Smt. Shakuntala Kotwal W/O Late Sh. Omkar Kotwal & Others, in the matter of criminal conspiracy hatched for illegal construction of Hotel Trinetra Resorts at Village Karlah Patnitop, without any valid permission and in violation of laid down norms without obtaining NOCs from Forest Department, Pollution Control Board, Fire & Emergency Department and Town Planner'

The Special Tribunal further observed that the “appellant has obtained the building permission in question in contravention of the statutory provisions by resorting to fraudulent means', which matter is under investigation with the Anti-Corruption Bureau in Case FIR No. 32/^016 VOJ (Now ACB Doda). The procedure laid down in the aforesaid COBO Act, 1988 and regulations of 1998 are binding on the Authority and any departure from these norms would render any decision taken by the Authority contravening the statutory provisions as void. The building permission issued under endorsement No. PDA/BPC/BOCA/192 dated 16.06.2008 is therefore rendered illegal along with the building raised on this foundation at the site in question”.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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