De-linking of Sub-Division Gandoh from Bhaderwah: HC directs CS to pass speaking order within three weeks

in Jammu News by

Jammu, Nov 11: In a significant order Justice Alok Aradhe of Jammu Kashmir High Court (Jammu Wing) has directed the Chief Secretary, Govt. of J&K to pass a speaking order within three weeks on the representation moved by inhabitants of Sub-Division Gandoh seeking de-linking of Sub-Division Gandoh from the territorial jurisdiction being exercised by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Bhaderwah. While directing the Chief Secretary, Justice Alok Aradhe also directed that the speaking order be passed in the light of the recommendations made by Deputy Commissioner, Doda and Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Gandoh.

These directions were passed in a writ petition filed by Inhabitants of Sub-Division Gandoh (Bhallessa) District Doda through Reyaz Ahmed Zargar S/o Din Mohd. Zargar R/o Village Kilhotran, Tehsil Gandoh (Bhallessa) District Doda seeking quashment of Govt. Order No.249-Rev of 2017 dated 12-10-2017 issued by Commissioner/Secretary to Govt. of J&K, Revenue Department whereby it was ordered that the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Bhaderwah shall exercise his territorial jurisdiction over the areas comprising Sub-Division Bhaderwah and Sub-Division Gandoh.

When this petition came up for hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocate Iqbal Hussain Bhat appearing for the petitioners submitted that the J&K Government initiated a move for upgrading the post of SDM Bhaderwah as Additional Deputy Commissioner Bhaderwah and the feedback was sought from Deputy Commissioner Doda and SDM Gandoh. Advocate Ahmed further submitted that the SDM Gandoh vide his No.SDM/ G/PA/16/1611 dated October, 18, 2016 forwarded the requisite details to the District Development Commissioner, Doda wherein it was clearly stated that the population of Sub-Division Gandoh as per census 2011 updated upto 2016 is 83636 with 66 Revenue Villages and 52 Panchayats. The SDM further stated that the distance of farthest Village Manoo and Kahaljugasar of Sub-Division Gandoh from Bhaderwah is 115 Kms and the distance of Tehsil Headquarter Chilli Pingal of Sub-Division Gandoh from District Headquarter Doda is 68 Kms and the distance of Tehsil Headquarter Bhallessa of Sub-Division Gandoh from District Headquarter Doda is 66 Kms and the average distance of Sub-Division Gandoh to District Headquarter Doda is 101.50 Kms whereas the average distance of Sub-Division Gandoh to Bhaderwah is 144.50 Kms.

Advocate S.S. Ahmed further submitted that SDM Gandoh based upon the backwardness of the area recommended that Sub-Division Gandoh must be kept intact with District Headquarters Doda instead of linking it to Additional Deputy Commissioner, Bhaderwah. Advocate Ahmed further submitted that the SDM Gandoh in his recommendation has further recommended that keeping in view the hilly terrain, the post of SDM Gandoh should be upgraded as Additional Deputy Commissioner, Gandoh.

During the course of arguments Advocate S.S. Ahmed further submitted that the Deputy Commissioner Doda vide his No.DCD/ PA/16/1602 dated November, 26, 2016 also recommended to the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu on the basis of the recommendations of SDM, Gandoh that instead of linking Sub-Division Gandoh to the proposed Additional Deputy Commissioner Bhaderwah it would be appropriate that looking into the far of location of Sub-Division Gandoh the same should be kept with District Headquarters, Doda.

Advocate S.S. Ahmed also invited the attention of the Court to the legal notice served upon the Chief Secretary wherein the grievance of the inhabitants of Gandoh was highlighted regarding the delinking of Sub-Division Gandoh from the territorial jurisdiction of Additional Deputy Commissioner, Bhaderwah.

After considering the submissions of Advocate S.S. Ahmed Justice Alok Aradhe observed that the counsel for the petitioner has submitted that a detailed representation in the form of legal notice to the Chief Secretary, J&K Govt. has been made and the aforesaid authority be directed to decide the same by treating it as representation bearing in mind that the majority of the population of Sub-Division, Gandoh is below the poverty line and average distance of Villages of Sub-Division Gandoh ranges from 96 Kms to 144 Kms as well as to bear in mind the recommendations made by the Deputy Commissioner, Doda and Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Gandoh by a speaking order within fixed time limit.

With these observations, Justice Alok Aradhe disposed of the writ petition by issuing a direction to the Chief Secretary, J&K to pass a speaking order within three weeks on the representation moved by inhabitants of Gandoh seeking de-linking of Sub-Division Gandoh from the territorial jurisdiction being exercised by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Bhaderwah. While directing the Chief Secretary, Justice Alok Aradhe also directed that the speaking order be passed in the light of the recommendations made by Deputy Commissioner Doda, and Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Gandoh. JNF

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