Illegal hotels near Golden Temple: HC seeks report on action taken against erring officials

The directions came from Justice Augustine George Masih after the court resumed hearing of a contempt of court petition filed by Amritsar advocate Sarabjit Singh Verka.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published:October 26, 2016 3:26 am

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday directed the Punjab government to submit a report as to what action has been taken against the erring officials who have been found guilty by the competent disciplinary authority for allowing construction of illegal hotels and guest houses near the Golden Temple in Amritsar during their tenure.

The directions came from Justice Augustine George Masih after the court resumed hearing of a contempt of court petition filed by Amritsar advocate Sarabjit Singh Verka.

The court also directed the Amritsar Municipal Corporation to inform it about the status of FIRs registered in February against two hotels which had broken their seals put by the Corporation for illegalities.

The court has also asked the authorities concerned as to how many of the total of 200 applications received, after issuance of notification following clearance of The Amritsar Walled City (Recognition of Usage) Act, 2016, for regularisation of the violations of building bye-laws, have been processed till date.

In his contempt petition filed last year in the High Court, Verka had alleged that there were more than 200 illegal hotels, guest houses, sarais near the Golden Temple and most of the owners of these buildings were influential persons, including relatives of political, executive and judicial authorities. The petitioner had also attached various newspaper clippings with the contempt petition highlighting that despite the High Court directions, illegal hotels and guest houses were running under the Amritsar administration’s nose.

The case has now been adjourned for next hearing to October 25.