Prohibited zones: Contempt notices to DCs for illegal construction
The officials have been asked to explain as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for failing to stop illegal encroachments
Sep 18, 2014
Source : The Times of India
Punjab and Haryana high court


CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday issued contempt notices to deputy commissioners (DCs) of Gurgaon and Faridabad and commissioners of the two municipal corporations for their failure to stop illegal construction in the prohibited zones around air force stations in the two cities.

The officials have been asked to explain as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for failing to stop illegal encroachments around the defence establishments. The officers have been asked to file their replies before the HC on November 29.

These orders were passed by a division bench of Justice Surya Kant after hearing the air force's plea that the encroachers had reached up to the fencing of the air force stations. Despite HC's August 28 orders to stop encroachment in the area, construction activities in the prohibited zone were rampant, said air force lawyer.

"You have nothing to do with the elections and being officers you are supposed to act in accordance with the law," observed Justice Kant, when the air force counsel alleged inaction by officers due to upcoming assembly polls in the state.

The matter had reached the high court through a public interest litigation filed by Suresh Goyal of Faridabad, seeking removal of constructions from 100-metre area around air force station, Dabua in Faridabad, which is a protected zone under provisions of the Work of Defence Act. The HC had also taken cognizance of a similar matter -- on the construction activities within the restricted zone of 900 metres of the ammunition depot of Indian Air Force -- in Gurgaon.

So far, the HC has passed several orders on the issue to stop illegal construction in the restricted zones.

On October 15, 2012, the HC had also directed that if the local administration failed to control the construction, all those responsible for it would be liable to face contempt of court proceedings.

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