The Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday stayed a lower court order earlier this month directing police to register an FIR in a matter alleging inaction by authorities against land-grabbers in Gurgaon. More than a dozen officers of Haryana government were made party to the criminal complaint filed by a local resident before the lower court.
The Gurgaon court order dated July 3 was challenged by IAS officer and Gurgaon Municipal Corporation Commissioner Vinjay Pratap Singh, who was also named in the criminal complaint. A Sessions Court had sent the complaint to Sector 10A Police Station for lodging of FIR and investigation. Singh was represented by Senior Advocate R S Rai Monday before a single bench in the petition seeking quashing of the lower court order.
The IAS officer has argued that the allegations in the complaint pertain to Sector 94 of Gurgaon and he has no authority whatsoever there as the area falls within the jurisdiction of Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority and outside the municipal limits.
Gurgaon resident Raman Sharma had approached the local court alleging that the administration did not act against “many land grabbers who have raised illegal construction in the shape of factories, warehouses and residential and commercial buildings in notified open space of Sector 94 by violating the notification of the town and country planning department, and provisions of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban areas Act, 1975…”
According to the complaint, Sector 94 of Gurgaon has been notified by the Haryana Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department as an “open space” under the Gurugram Manesar Urban Complex Plan Scheme and all kinds of construction in the said area was banned by the TCP department without its permission. The area abutting Pataudi-Gurugram road also comes in the Green Belt, said the complaint. Naming various companies and industries, Sharma claimed that these firms not only constructed warehouses and factories there in contravention of the law, but also got the sale deed registered in their favour in collusion and conspiracy with authorities.
Questioning the jurisdiction exercised by the Sessions Judge in passing the order, the IAS officer has alleged that the complainant is filing one after another “frivolous and baseless” criminal complaints against the public officers and senior bureaucrats in Gurgaon.
Submitting the lower court has given no reasons for passing the order, Singh also argued that the allegations mentioned in the complaint are prima facie without any substance and the sessions judge ought to have rejected the prayer for sending the complaint to the police authorities. It has also been argued that Singh, as a public servant, cannot be prosecuted without obtaining the sanction under Section 197 CrPC.
“The manner and the fashion in which the impugned order has been passed will not only demoralise the public servants in discharging their official duties but also will have serious impact on the justice dispensation as the Learned Sessions Judge has passed the order without even verifying the contents of the complaint qua the present petitioner,” reads the petition filed through advocate Sartej Singh Narula.
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