Revamp Act under which city was set up: HC to UT
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Making it clear that resumption (taking possession) of property of an individual has to "be the last resort", the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday ruled that the Estate Officer would not henceforth initiate resumption proceedings unless the "wrongdoer has been penalised to the maximum".
In a judgment having far-reaching consequences, the High Court remarked that "every such action (levy of penalty or demolition of encroachments) shall have to be expressly disclosed in the show-cause notice for initiating the resumption proceedings". If not complied with the directions, the court has observed that "the non-compliance whereof shall vitiate the resumption proceedings besides other consequences".
Expressing deep concern on the future of City Beautiful, the High Court has held that the Act under which Chandigarh was established needs "revamp and updation to meet the modern day challenges". The full bench comprising Justices Surya Kant, Augustine George Masih and R P Nagrath has slammed the Chandigarh Administration for not coming out with "concrete" proposals but going in for "ad hoc solutions".
The detailed judgment running into 103 pages reads, "The Executive in this case has failed to live up to the expectations of the residents as instead of approaching the Ministry concerned with a concrete proposal on data-based information for onward consideration of the Legislature to rejuvenate the Capital of Punjab (Development & Regulation) Act, 1952 and make it more vibrant, it has gone for ad hoc solutions."
Expressing surprise, the court has noted that "strangely, the amount of penalty or fine (on account of violation) fixed by the Legislature in the year 1952 has not been got revised even after the expiry of 60 years".
Emphasising the need to revamp the 1952 Act, the High Court said that "we cannot refrain from observing that the 1952 Act may need revamping and updation to meet the modern day challenges some of which are incidental to the steep hike in the value of real estate and an unprecedented pressure of population mounted on Chandigarh".
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