SC pulls up HP govt over unauthorised constructions

SC pulls up HP govt over unauthorised constructions

Husband of officer Shail Bala Sharma mourns after she was allegedly shot dead by a hotel owner in Kasauli town, where Sharma had yesterday gone to supervise the demolition of unauthorised construction, in Mandi on Wednesday. PTI Photo

The Supreme Court on Thursday pulled up the Himachal Pradesh government over unauthorised constructions in state, which resulted into unfortunate killing of a woman officer during an apex court ordered demolition drive by a hotel owner at Kasauli.

Acting suo motu on daylight murder of officer Shail Bala Sharma, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked the state government to apprise it about the status of the probe and the steps taken to ensure that no unauthorised constructions were carried out in the entire state.

“Unless you (state) take the matter seriously and believe in the rule of law, you cannot encourage people who break the law. The death is not a result of the court's order. It is a result of non-implementation of the law. The incident is very unfortunate. You have to ensure rule of law and implementation of the law on unauthorised constructions,” the bench said.

Assistant Town and Country Planner Shail Bala Sharma had on May 1 gone to supervise the demolition of unauthorised construction at Kasauli's Narayani Guest House where its owner Vijay Singh had allegedly shot at her. She later succumbed to injuries, while another government official accompanying her sustained serious injuries.

The bench also asked the counsel representing Himachal Pradesh government to inform it about the status of implementation of the court's order of April 17 on the demolition of unauthorised constructions in 13 hotels at Kasauli. The court put the matter for further consideration on May 9.