The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted two weeks’ time to finalise action against 12 officials of the Amritsar Municipal Corporation who have been found guilty of allowing construction of illegal hotels and guest houses near the Golden Temple during their tenure.
Municipal Commissioner Sonali Giri submitted that out of a total of 33 officials charge-sheeted, 21 were later exonerated and finally, charges were framed against the remaining 12 officials. She added that the matter is pending consideration before the disciplinary authority of the local government department.
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The court, headed by Justice AG Masih, was also informed that in a complaint submitted on February 26 against the two hotel owners, who had opened the seals put up by the corporation for violating building norms, an FIR has finally been registered after eight months on October 26 at Division E police station for criminal trespass and disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant. The hotel owners are Satnam Singh Kanda who runs Kanda Guest House and Jatinder Pal Singh who runs JP Bless hotel and they are using the hotel buildings after opening the seals, it was informed.
Taking serious note of this, the court ordered Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam, who was present in the court, to re-seal Kanda Guest House and JP Bless before October 29 and ensure that the seal is not broken again. The court also issued notices to both the hotel owners.
The HC was also told that after the state government framed a new policy to regularise hotels, the corporation has conducted a survey of all the 200 hotels whose applications were received to ascertain the existing status. But, until the prescribed norms for the regularisation and the composition charges are not determined by the committee constituted under the chairmanship of the director of local government, no further action can be taken by the corporation. However, the state government counsel submitted that the final approval is expected from the concerned minister within two weeks.
The submissions were made during the resumed hearing of a contempt of court petition filed by Amritsar advocate Sarabjit Singh Verka in the High Court last year.