The High Court on Friday granted last opportunity to the State government has sought action against those whose leases have expired at Gulmarg tourist resort.
It has directed the authorities to take final decision on the issue and file a report before the court on or by next date of hearing.
Expressing deep concern over the lackadaisical approach adopted by government in taking action, the division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan said that it is against the larger interests of public and cannot be tolerated.
“No person can be permitted to utilize the property with the intention of furthering of private interest of any person or authority. It has to be ensured that the maximum benefit results to the public as a result thereof,” the bench said.
While taking serious note on the approach of Gulmarg Developmental Authority (GDA), the bench before initiating action against the officials of GDA, granted final opportunity to the authorities to take decision on the issue.
With regard to retention and withholding of public property beyond time limit, the Court directed the government to place the stand about recovery of property in Gulmarg where leases or licenses have already expired.
Advocate General today informed the Court that a meeting was convened with different stakeholders on March 7 to discuss the renewal of expired lease agreements and the decision in this regard will be taken soon.
The Court remarked that Advocate General has assured that the decision will be taken positively and the same will be placed before the court as such one more opportunity is granted to have the decision.
The Court was hearing Public Interest Litigation on protection and preservation of the Gulmarg resort.
Earlier, GDA was directed to inform the Court with regard to the amount which the lessee/licensee was required to pay towards the grant of leases and the status of the payments by the lessees in a tabulation form as directed.
Court has already recorded that it is trite that public property is held in public trust by the respondents and has to be dealt with in a non-arbitrary and transparent manner ensuring that public interest is best served.