22 July 2019


Judgments

High Court of Jammu and Kashmir

Khazir Mohammad Dar and Ors. Vs. State of J&K and Ors.

MANU/JK/0699/2018

31.08.2018

Civil

State Government is liable to make the payment of electricity and water bills in respect of hotels/accommodations, occupied by security forces

The simple and short grievance of the petitioners in these petitions is that, although their hotels came to be occupied by the security forces from 1990 onwards without their consent, yet the Respondents directed all the Drawing & Disbursing Officers to ensure that necessary NOCs are obtained from the hoteliers on account of electricity and water charges before the payment of rent to them. The Petitioners contend that, the expenditure of water and electricity has to be borne by the Respondents and not by them.

It is the liability of the State Government to make the payment of electricity and water bills in respect of the hotels/accommodations, which have been occupied by the security forces, deployed for security purposes. However, the State Government has taken umbrage under the plea that, these hotels have been occupied on day today basis and, therefore, the owners have to meet the expenditure on account of payment of electricity and water tariff.

The State Government cannot take shelter and refuge under this plea, when there is no written agreement. The hotels appear to have been occupied by them without seeking the consent of the petitioners, who had no bargaining power and, therefore, this plea pales into insignificance, particularly when these hotels are in the possession of the security forces right from the date these have been occupied without any break and interruption.

The payment of water tax and electricity charges is the prerogative and liability of the State which the State has to discharge and each owner has to get the actual rent, out of which nothing would be deductible. The writ petitions are allowed and the communication is quashed. Respondents are directed not to deduct the electricity/water charges from the rentals paid to the writ Petitioners. They are further directed not to press the Petitioners for production of 'No Objection Certificates' before paying them the rentals. The writ petitions are, accordingly, disposed of.

Tags : Charges Payment Liability

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