- During the construction in 2017, the Army sent a communication to Nirmal Singh as the land was close to an ammo depot.
- The Centre moved a contempt notice in 2018 for “violating” the then Jammu DC’s 2015 order notifying the Army depot.
- The HC had on May 7, 2018, directed Singh and others to “ensure” that the 2015 order is strictly implemented.
The Jammu Development Authority (JDA) has served a notice on senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, asking him to demolish his “illegally constructed house” on the outskirts of the city within five days.
Singh and his family moved into the palatial bungalow near the Army’s ammunition sub-depot at Ban village of Nagrota on July 23 last year, even though the High Court had in May 2018 directed the authorities to ensure “strict implementation” of a 2015 notification barring the general public from carrying out construction within 1,000 yards of defence installations.
“The matter is sub judice and I will be consulting my lawyers for future course of action,” the BJP leader said, confirming the receipt of the notice issued by the JDA on November 8.
In its order of demolition, the JDA said the building was constructed without attaining permission from the competent authority. “…If you fail to remove the illegal construction within the stipulated period of time, the same shall be demolished by the enforcement wing of Jammu Development Authority and the cost of removal shall be recovered from you as arrears of land revenue,” the JDA said.
The HC on May 7, 2018, had asked all parties concerned to maintain the status quo until the final disposition of an Army plea which claimed that the building was in violation of laid down norms. Raising security and safety concerns in view of the building’s proximity to an ammunition depot, the Centre had filed two petitions before the HC.
Singh had earlier claimed it was a political conspiracy against him. The construction work on the 2,000 square metre land had started in 2017 prompting the Army to send a communication to Singh, who was then deputy CM in the PDP-BJP coalition government.