Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], Aug 6 (ANI): Former MP Pawan Kumar Bansal has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah urging him to ask the Chandigarh administration not to seek penalty from occupiers of property in Chandigarh at the enhanced monthly rate of Rs 500 per sq. ft. for any alleged building violation or misuse.
In a letter to the Home Minister, Bansal said that the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952 under which the Estate Rules were stated to have been framed, only provided for a fine of Rs 500 and a further fine which may extend to Rs 20 for each day for which the offence has continued. However, in contravention of the Act, the administrator UT Chandigarh, promulgated the Chandigarh Estate Rules in 2007, followed by an amendment in 2009 to provide for monthly charges of Rs.500 per sq. ft. of area under violation.
Former Union Minister Bansal said that no such authority vested with the administrator to take any action which had the effect of amending an Act, which is the jurisdiction of Parliament alone.
"This unconscionable increase in the penalty was effected without due application of mind and has led to extreme distress and hardship to the occupiers of commercial, industrial and residential properties in Chandigarh. These charges, violative of the Act, now run into crores of rupees, even more than a thousand times of the original cost of the property, in many cases," he said.
Bansal also said that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had declared the Estate Rules to be ultra vires of the Act and had directed the Administration to move, if it so desired, for amendment of the Act.
"The matter is since pending in the Ministry of Home Affairs. It will be only in the fitness of things that you kindly direct the Chandigarh Administration to suspend any such recovery process till the time the Act is amended by the Parliament," Bansal added.
Further, Bansal urged the Home Minister for amendment of the relevant rules since with the passage of time, the nature of the use and requirement of property had undergone tremendous changes like the need to cover the open back courtyards. (ANI)