Police: Anantnag-based terrorist associate was found guilty under UAPA
Police: Anantnag-based terrorist associate was found guilty under UAPA

The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh’s division bench has voiced its disapproval with the UT government’s decision to house 49 lawmakers in ministerial bungalows, as reported on June 12 in Jammu.

In a landmark order on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the eviction of former ministers and members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) from ministerial bungalows, the Division Bench of the High Court of J&K & Ladakh (Jammu), consisting of Chief Justice N. Kotishwar Singh and Justice Puneet Gupta, ordered the UT Administration to inform the court, by the next date of hearing, of the nature of the accommodation provided to Ex.


The Division Bench began by noting that it had read the UT Administration’s report, which had been submitted in a sealed cover and then kept sealed. The Court later expressed displeasure with the report filed by the respondents, saying, “the report, however, does not address the issue which has been raised before this Court, as to whether a person who is entitled to security cover would also be entitled to Government accommodation as these are matters which are before this Court.”

These rulings came from the widely reported Public Interest Litigation (PIL No. 17/2020), which focused on the illegal occupancy of ministerial bungalows by former ministers and members of the legislative assembly in Jammu and Srinagar. The PIL requests that the Estates department be instructed on how to proceed with evicting the squatters.

Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed, along with Advocates Supriya Chouhan and Mohd. Zulkarnain Choudhary, appeared on behalf of the petitioner during the hearing for this PIL and referred the Division Bench to the decision of the High Court rendered by a Division Bench on 26.12.2022 in CM Nos. 7467/2022 & 7468/2022 in WP (C) PIL No. 17/2020, in which it was held that the

As was the position of the Administration in the aforementioned case, Advocate S. S. Ahmed argued vehemently that the inference which can be drawn from the earlier decision of the Division Bench of the High Court is that while because of certain threat perception security cover can be granted to a person, it is not necessary that the person has to be provided the Government accommodation also.

Petitioner’s lawyer, S. S. Ahmed, argued that providing housing to someone who is already protected by the government is not mandated by law. Advocate Ahmed argued further that, even if accommodation were necessary to be granted under extraordinary circumstances, the lodging to be offered to an ex-Chief would be unjustified and disproportionate.

A former minister or bureaucrat cannot return to his previous level of influence after he leaves government.

On December 21, 2018, the Deputy Director Estates, Jammu issued eviction notices to former Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta, Bali Bhagat (Former Health Minister), Sunil Kumar (Former Minister), and others, directing them to surrender their ministerial bungalows by or before December 21, 2018, and warning that the Estates Department would initiate eviction proceedings in the event of a failure to comply.

Attorney S. S. Ahmed said that the unapproved residents of the ministerial bungalows have not moved out and that the Estates Department has not yet begun eviction procedures against them.

Further emphasising the Estates Department’s deliberate eviction of politicians, Advocate Ahmed said that 107 political individuals were removed from Government accommodations in Jammu. Furthermore, he said that former ministers and legislators from a certain political party who are still well-connected had been spared from the eviction campaign.

After hearing Advocate S. S. Ahmed’s arguments, the Division Bench led by Chief Justice N. Kotishwar Singh made the following observation: Although they may need protection, the information presented to us does not provide evidence that these individuals need official housing. So, before the next date, we’d want to hear from the Administration about the specifics of the accommodations made for these people and why they were made.

The Division Bench agreed that there was a significant enough issue to warrant a new notification of this PIL on July 19, 2023, and so they ordered the Registry to do so.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here