File affidavits over illegal buildings: HC to zonal heads

Taking a serious note of alleged illegal constructions by private persons in different parts of the State capital, the Telangana High Court on Thursday instructed all the six zonal commissioners of the GHMC to file individual affidavits on the matter.

Hearing a couple of PIL pleas on illegal constructions in the city, a bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy said the affidavits by the zonal commissioners should comprise the details of cases of building violations in all circles of each zone. They should also explain how many illegal structures in the circles were demolished along with the details of prosecution launched against them.

The CJ instructed that the zonal commissioners should explain how many persons had approached the courts and secured orders staying demolition process. The officials should explain what steps were taken to get such stay orders vacated. All details should be furnished in a tabulated form, the bench said.

Making it clear that officials turning a blind eye to illegal structures in their respective jurisdictional areas would not be spared, the bench observed that “now the bells are ringing aloud and officials have to be careful”. While hearing the PIL pleas about illegal constructions in different parts of the city, Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy said that the role of GHMC field officers was not coming to fore though they play pivotal role in ensuring no illegal structure came up in their respective areas.

The judge felt that such field officers who were assigned the responsibility of restraining persons undertaking illegal structures should be made accountable. Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy also noted that such officers on one hand threaten persons indulging in raising such buildings illegally. On the other hand, they would suggest to those persons to move the lower courts to secure orders staying demolition of illegally built structures.

They help the persons complete the process of construction under the guise of the stay and eventually get the buildings regularised under Building Regularisation Scheme (BRS), the judge said. Taking a note of the remarks made by the co-judge, the CJ instructed the zonal commissioners to file affidavits with all information.

“Ultimately the buck should stop at the table of the senior officer...Delegation of authority does not mean abrogation of authority...”, the CJ remarked. Posting the two PIL petitions to April 15, the CJ noted that “there appeared to be lack of control and supervision in all the circles which must be curbed”.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 1:44:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/file-affidavits-over-illegal-buildings-hc-to-zonal-heads/article34000708.ece

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