After Five-Year Legal Battle, Kashmir Man Granted Permission to Open Windows

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The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh recently authorized a Kashmiri resident to open his home windows after a protracted legal battle that challenged a civil court ruling favoring his neighbor. This development stemmed from the case of Ghulam Nabi Shah v Abdul Gani Sheikh & Ors.

Justice Atul Sreedharan raised concerns about the ambiguity in the civil court’s order regarding the petitioner’s neighbor’s rights.

The Court affirmed, “The petitioner unquestionably holds the right to open windows on his property, even if they face the house of the plaintiff/respondent.”

Regarding the respondents’ privacy concerns, the Court dismissed them, asserting, “The argument that this might infringe upon privacy doesn’t hold ground, as it is the responsibility of the defendant/respondent to take necessary measures to protect their privacy.”

The Court suggested that the neighbor could safeguard their privacy by using curtains or constructing a barrier on their property to prevent visibility from the petitioner’s property.

This case originated from a civil dispute in the Budgam district, centering on disagreements over the construction of the petitioner’s house, including issues regarding the sloping roof, drainage pipes, and window openings affecting the neighbor’s privacy.

In 2018, the trial court allowed construction but restricted window openings facing the neighbor’s house. The petitioner was also directed to prevent snowfall and water drainage onto the neighbor’s property.

During the High Court proceedings, the petitioner emphasized adherence to construction regulations and the trial court’s directives. Despite notice, the neighbor did not appear, leading the Court to proceed ex-parte.

Upon confirming compliance with construction regulations, the Court viewed the window restriction as a violation of the petitioner’s rights and subsequently granted the petition.

Advocate MM Iqbal acted as the petitioner’s representative.

(The featured image is for representational purposes only)

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