J&K Management Seeks Revision of Order on Roshni Law
In a U-turn, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has requested a review of the October 9 high court ruling that declared the J&K State Lands Act (Property Acquisition from Occupants) null and void ( Roshni Law) of 2001.
The higher court had also ordered an investigation by the IWC and ordered the government to cancel all mutations of state lands under the Act, and to work out modalities to evict the invaders from such lands and recover them within six months.
Following the order, the administration posted the names of the “invaders” on the government’s website. These names included those of the president of the National Conference, Farooq Abdullah, the vice president of the party Omar Abdullah, the head of the People’s Democratic Party, Mehbooba Mufti, the leader of the PDP and former finance minister Haseeb Drabu, and congressional politicians.
On December 4, the administration, through Special Secretary (Revenue) Nazir Ahmad Thakur, filed a petition for review with the High Court.
While Thakur declined to comment on the development, the petition has sought to distinguish between “landless farmers and individuals residing in housing in small areas” and “rich and wealthy land grabbers” who obtained state land titles through provisions of the “unconstitutional” law. .
In addition, he said that the intention of the court was to investigate any bad faith attempts at the way the Roshni Act and its Rules were framed, and also to identify wealthy and influential people who manipulated the system for profit under the Act. .
The petition for review also sought the court’s instructions for CBI to control powerful and influential individuals who defrauded the state.
Chief BJP spokesperson and high court attorney Sunil Sethi said that “the government has requested a revision of its sentence to isolate landless farmers and small town dwellers, who were granted property rights to small properties ”.
The government’s decision has drawn strong criticism from various quarters, especially from those who had defied the Roshni Law.
Farooq Abdullah had already called the entire exercise a political vendetta.
Speaking to HT, he said: “We bought the house in Srinagar in 1974 and it was not under the Roshni scheme. We also did not buy the house in Jammu below it. It’s just propaganda against us. Can’t I understand what they want to do? The Sunjwan colony was not raised by me … it was raised a long time ago. Don’t we have the right to live? ”.
Former Minister Haseeb Drabu and his family were also on the list. He also dismissed suggestions that he was involved in some wrongdoing, saying that his grandfather had bought the land in question in 1956 in the name of his mother, who divided it among his children after extending their lease. “I only have one earth khanal. The fact that I was a minister does not mean that you have the right to taint my name, ”he said.