Srinagar, June 30: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has imposed Rs 35000 costs on the government for two adjournments this month in a petition after authorities failed to submit objections to the plea filed nine years ago.
First the court had imposed Rs 10000 penalty on Collector Land Acquisition Shopian on June 2 this year and now Rs 25000 have been imposed as the costs for the adjournment which the court said was “not inclined to but compelled by the circumstances”.
“The writ petition and the connected petitions are pending since 2013. All the official respondents have not yet filed counter affidavit despite several opportunities in the past,” a division bench of Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Javed Iqbal Wani said in an order.
“Respondent No. 8 (Collector Land Acquisition, District Shopian), was directed to file objections to the writ petition but he has not filed the same despite imposition of cost of Rs. 10,000/- vide order dated 02.06.2022,” said the division bench said, adding, “He was also directed to remain present before the Court, but he has not cared to appear nor has he deposited the costs probably for the reason that the order dated 02.06.2022 was never communicated to him.”
At this state Additional Advocate General M. A. Chashoo prayed for and was granted a week’s further time to file the objections and to ensure presence of the Collector Land Acquisition, District Shopian, as well as deposit the cost of Rs.10,000 imposed on June 2.
“Since it is a matter of 2013, we are not inclined to adjourn it but the circumstances have compelled us to do so,” the court said, adding, “Accordingly, we direct this petition to be listed on 20.07.2022 on which date the Collector Land Acquisition, District Shopian, shall remain present in Court along with record.”
It asked the AAG to ensure that the cost of Rs. 10,000/- imposed vide order dated 02.06.2022, are also deposited.
“The aforesaid adjournment is subject to payment of further cost of Rs. 25,000/- which shall be paid and deposited by the next date,” the court added. gns