After August 24, the state government would be empowered to get FIRs registered against citizens, not applying for regularisation of their buildings or plots situated in unauthorised colonies. Besides, such buildings would also be demolished, the new regularisation policy on unauthorised colonies revealed.
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) chief administrator Manvesh Sidhu had already advocated registration of FIRs against residents and demolition of their buildings for falling in illegal colonies.
The policy said that in case the plot holder/building owner/promoter did not submit applications to seek regularisation by August 24, FIRs shall be registered against them under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation act. If convicted, such citizens may face imprisonment up to three years or fine up to Rs. 10,000 or both.
Under the policy, such colony or building shall remain as unauthorised and offence shall be treated as continuing against the plot holder or promoter. "No connection for water supply and allied services like sewerage, drainage, electricity shall be provided to such building or colony. The revenue department would not register any sale deed or transfer or disposal of the buildings or plots in such illegal colonies," it reads, adding no building plan shall be approved in such illegal colonies.
Badal, who was here to attend a function at Punjab Armed Police today, feigned ignorance about mandatory FIR registration and demolition provisions. "We have not discussed these provisions at this stage of policy implementation. We will think, when such a situation will arise," Badal said, seemingly keeping options open for prosecuting the defaulters.
Badal, who also holds housing and urban development portfolio, ducked query on Sidhu's advocacy for FIR registration against defaulters.
"We enacted the Punjab Laws (Special Provisions) act to charge citizens and colonisers from backdate," Badal justified.
Confronted that no such legal provision exists in that act, Badal was quick to add: "I am not a lawyer. We have consulted the legal remembrance and advocate general before notifying the policy."
He invited this reporter to Chandigarh to show the related documents and legal provisions. The government has no power to collect dues beyond three years period as per existing laws.
The residents were required to submit applications for regularisation of properties/plots along with 30% of penalty including 5% social infrastructure fund with concerned civic body by August 24. The balance 70% charges shall be deposited in three equal half yearly installments along with an interest @12% per annum. A 10% rebate shall be allowed on paying full charges in one go.
Within 30 days, the competent authority would convey to applicant the demand notice along with observations.
By November 24, the government would also identify colonisers after making due investigation, scrutiny of relevant record and summoning of persons involved in development of illegal colony. Then FIRs would be registered against them.