Kasuali killing: SC seeks names of erring officials

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Himachal Pradesh government to provide it the names and designations of officers who were posted in Kasauli when unauthorized constructions were carried out.

A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta also sought a report from the state on specific steps taken to ensure that no uauthorized construction was being carried out in other parts of the state.

During the hearing, the bench asked Advocate General of Himachal Pradesh what action will the state take against officials who were posted when the unauthorized construction took place.

It said: “Unless you take action and remove four-five people from service, nothing will fall in line.”

It also asked the Himachal Pradesh government about the steps it will take to remove the debris of unauthorized construction.

Giving two months to file its report, the bench posted the matter for August.

Earlier, the Supreme Court said the murder of a woman officer when she was supervising an anti-encroachment drive in Kasauli was because of the non-implementation of the state law prohibiting illegal construction.

The apex court took suo motu cognizance of the killing and described the incident as “extremely serious”.

Shaila Bala Sharma, who had gone to Kasauli to supervise the demolition of unauthorized constructions at 13 hotels and resorts as ordered by the top court, was shot dead on May 1 by Vijay Singh, owner of Narayani Guest House in Dharampur area.

The court order for demolition came on pleas filed by some owners challenging a National Green Tribunal order of May 30, 2017 which directed the demolition of illegal portions of the hotels.

The hotels included Hotel Pine View, Narayani Guest House, Bird’s View Resort, Hotel Neelgiri and Hotel Divshikha.