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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

HC refuses to stay sealing of Amritsar hotels

HT Correspondent, BBC  Chandigarh, August 23, 2014
First Published: 07:48 IST(23/8/2014) | Last Updated: 07:50 IST(23/8/2014)

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday refused to pass orders of staying the sealing exercise of illegal hotels/guest houses/serais constructed in and around the Galiara project of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The division bench comprising acting chief justice Ashutosh Mohunta and justice HS Sidhu said the stay orders with regard to the sealing of such hotels cannot be passed in a public interest litigation in which there is no such prayer before the court. The court added that if the petitioners want to make such a prayer, then separate petitions have to be filed.

However, the court was informed during the hearing of the case that 33 officials of the municipal corporation (MC) had been chargesheeted for their laxity in allowing illegal constructions during their tenure. These officers are of the rank of senior town planners, town planners and assistant town planners. The hotels/guest houses were found to have been constructed in violation of the applicable building bylaws of 2010.

The MC authorities, however, informed the court that sealing of illegal hotels/serais had not been possible because of the agitation by hotel owners. In February, the court had ordered to constitute a special investigating team (SIT) to probe as many as 131 illegal hotels within six months.

The case has now been posted for the next hearing on December 19.

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