The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday ordered senior revenue and police officials to file reports on whether the construction activity near an Army ammunition depot in Nagrota, near Jammu is in compliance with the state’s guidelines, The Indian Express reported. The officials have until May 30 to submit their report.
The order follows the Army’s petition asking the court to initiate contempt proceedings against Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh’s wife Mamata Singh. The plea claims that she had allegedly violated the court’s May 7 order asking authorities to ensure that construction near the depot was banned. In August 2015, the Jammu deputy commissioner had issued a notification ordering such a ban.
On May 12, The Indian Express had reported that top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in the state, including Nirmal Singh, had bought 12 acres of land next to the Army’s ammunition depot in Nagrota through a company in 2014. An Army officer wrote to Nirmal Singh on March 19 that a house he was building on a 2,000-sq-metre plot on that land was illegal and was a security threat.
The Army’s letter to him had cited the Works of Defence Act, a central government notification from 2002, and a state government notification from 2015 to state that construction activity within 1,000 yards of the boundary wall of the ammunition depot was prohibited. Nirmal Singh’s under-construction building is about 580 yards from the depot, the letter said. The Army then moved the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, reported The New Indian Express.