The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has directed the respondents to ensure that construction in Pahalgam area is done strictly in accordance with the new Master Plan and steps be taken by the respondents to remove the illegal encroachments, if any, by following the due process of law.
The Division Bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar and Justice M. A. Chowdhary closed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed challenging the Master Plan 2005-2025 issued by the Pahalgam Development Authority on the ground that the same was against the interest of inhabitants of the area and not in public interest.
Ilyas Laway, Government Advocate , appearing for the respondents submitted that the Master Plan which is impugned in this petition is no more in vogue and has been replaced by new Master Plan Pahalgam 2023.
In view of the aforesaid, this petition on the face of it is rendered infructuous and perhaps because of this reason there is no representation on behalf of the petitioner, observed the Bench.
“In view of the above, this PIL is closed with a direction to the respondents to ensure that the construction in the Pahalgam area is done strictly in accordance with the new Master Plan and steps be taken by the respondents to remove the illegal encroachments, if any, by following due process of law. “
The Court granted liberty to the petitioner to point out individual violations and seek appropriate remedial measures as may be permissible under law.
So far as the renewal of the expired and subsisting leases are concerned, the High Court was told that new Rules under the Land Grants Act, 1960 have been promulgated and those Rules shall govern all those matters/structures which were also raised during the course of the PIL.