HC issues show cause notice to SSP Budgam
The High Court has issued a show cause notice to SSP Budgam asking him to explain his position in an affidavit filed by the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) department accusing him of taking away 51 trucks of free rationmeant for free distribution in flood affected areas of Valley.
A division bench of the High Court Comprising of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice A M Magrey also directed the IGP Kashmir to provide full protection to CAPD godowns housing ration and other essential commodities.
According to Mushtaq Ahmad Chashoo, additional advocate general, the court issued the notice after CAPD director Kashmir filed an affidavit accusing the Budgam police of forcibly and unauthorizedly taking away 51 truckloads of ration. “The Court has now asked the SSP Budgam to explain his position by or before October 13 the next date of hearing of a Public Interest Litigation filed on the subject,” Chashoo told Kashmir Times.
The additional advocate general said that the secretary CAPD has now constituted an inquiry committee headed by special secretary CAPD to inquire into the compliant.
In the same PIL, on September 29, the High Court had nominated Registrar General as the Convener of the Supreme Court constituted five-member committee that will visit flood-affected areas of the state and submit a report by or before October 10.
According to Advocate Jehangir Iqbal Ganaie, one of the two petitioners who had filed a PIL on havoc created by floods in Jammu and Kashmir, a division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice A M Magrey nominated registrar general as the convener of the five member committee constituted by the Apex Court.
Ganaie said that the court has listed the matter for next hearing on October 13. Meanwhile, taking notice of the oral submissions of Ganaie on pilferage and hoarding, the Court had asked for personal appearance of DIG Central Kashmir and SSP Srinagar who later appeared in the afternoon before the court.
“I had submitted that the CAPD relief material was not being distributed fairly and the markets are overcharging the customers on essential commodities. I had brought court’s attention to the complaints of pilferage and hoarding. Later the court asked the two police officer to appear in person,” Ganaie added.
The two police officers assured the court that they will personally monitor through market checking squads complaints regarding pilferage and hoarding. “They also ensured that they will ensure fair distribution of CAPD relief material,” Ganaie informed.
As the matter came up before the Court today, Ganaie submitted the order passed by the Supreme Court in a PIL on floods in J&K. Pertinently, on September 24, the Supreme Court constituted a five-member committee that will visit flood-affected areas and make a comprehensive assessment of the situation of the flood-ravaged areas of the state.
An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha said that the committee will visit all the flood-affected areas for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation and submit its interim report in two weeks.
The court said the committee will comprise a senior registrar of Jammu and Kashmir High Court posted at Srinagar, Secretary of the J&K Department of Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, a nominee of the central government and the presidents of the bar associations of Srinagar and Jammu regions.
On September 25, the High Court here had reserved its order in a PIL seeking implementation of norms adopted in Uttarakhand for settling claims. On September 22, the Court had issued notices to all major insurance companies operating in the flood-affected Jammu and Kashmir.
On Wednesday the Court directed insurance companies to report to it about their survey vis-à-vis losses due to floods so that the court analyzes whether interim relief meets ends of justice for the flood-hit people of the state.
A division bench comprising of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey has now reserved the order.
Earlier, an application was moved by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) seeking to revisit the procedure in assessing the loss caused by the floods that hit the Valley on September 7, causing widespread devastation to properties and businesses.
While the insurance companies apprised the court that in case of Uttarakhand, 50 percent of the assessed amount was the parameter adopted for awarding the interim relief which was paid within one week to the affected people, Z A Shah-representing the KCCI-argued that the situation is different in Kashmir.
Shah argued that buildings in Kashmir are still under water along with stocks and that the number of claims is so huge that even the interim survey report would take two years for the limited number of surveyors. “The Bajaj Allianz has only 90 surveyors to assess the claim of 10,000 persons,” Shah pleaded.
He argued that on the basis of sum assured, 50 percent amount should be released with a stipulation so that final claim would adjust the interim relief either way. Following the arguments by the parties, the Bench directed the counsel for the insurance companies to seek instructions on the issue of awarding interim relief on the assured amount to the affected claimants.
“The reason for such an approach is that in many areas the water has gone up to 12 feet and the whole assured stock has been damaged,” the Bench observed. It said that various articles have been touched by the flood water and the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir has issued an advisory not to touch these as these may be contaminated and cause health problems.
“In such a situation, it has to be found by the insurance companies whether there could be any possibility of deviating from the assured amount on the basis of adopting yardstick of interim report by the insurance companies,” the Bench said.
On September 22, the High Court issued notices to all major insurance companies operating in the flood-affected state to file objections to a PIL seeking implementation of norms adopted in Uttarakhand for settling the claims. The insurance companies were directed to show-cause why the formula implemented in calamity-hit areas like Uttarakhand last year should not be applied in flood-affected Jammu and Kashmir as well.