Roshni law: punish illegal land grabbers, says higher court than HC
On Thursday, the Supreme Court observed that those who have illegally seized government land in Jammu and Kashmir under the 2001 Roshni Act must be punished and that the court will not obstruct their prosecution.
“If someone illegally seizes the land, they should be punished and we will not stand in their way,” commented the SC bank headed by judge NV Ramana, while listening to a handful of petitions against J & K’s higher court order to cancel. all property rights. rights and assignments under contentious law.
At the same time, the proceedings in the high court obtained a pardon for 68 petitioners, including former J&K Finance Minister Haseeb A Drabu and former Chief Secretary Mohammed Shafi Pandit, after the administration assured that no adverse action will be taken. against them until the court hears. the matter again in the second week of January.
The Supreme Court asked the high court to rule on requests for review of the October 9 verdict that struck down the law granting property rights to occupants of state lands.
The petitioners before the high court include former energy development commissioner Nissar Hussain, former chief forest conservator RK Mattoo, former judge Khaliq-ul-Zaman, businessmen Bharat Malhotra and Vikas Khanna, and retired commissioner Bashir Ahmed.
The Roshni Law provided for the transfer of property titles to government land occupants in lieu of a fee, paving the way for the regularization of encroachments on public lands and simultaneously generating resources to finance energy projects at J&K, hence the name ” Roshni “.
The petitioners in South Carolina have challenged the October 9 order of the superior court, which declared all property rights transferred under the Roshni Act illegal and ordered the UT administration to take back the land. It also ordered an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the alleged corruption and unauthorized usurpation of public lands.
On Thursday, the J&K management presented in the SC that it was committed to protecting landless growers and the actual winners who could have been affected by the high court order to declare the 2001 Roshni Act null and void.
Attorney General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of the administration, also assured the court that there will be no adverse or coercive action against the petitioners, most of whom, he added, appear to be bona fide adjudicators.
For its part, the court pointed out that the petitions for review against the adverse order had not yet been decided by the HC and, therefore, the higher court would like to await its outcome.
However, the court also took note of the petitioners’ main complaint that, although no ruling was found regarding the illegality of their legal occupation of the land, the broad observations of the HC could lead to the cancellation of their rights to land. leasing, as well as making them the subject of CBI investigations. “We are just saying that those affected should have the opportunity to be heard in some forum,” the bank told Mehta.
In response, the SG alleged that J & K’s own management has requested a review of the HC order in its attempt to classify between genuine and fraudulent occupants, and the matter will be heard by the HC. He added that the government is against illegal usurpations and not against innocent investors or real land winners, and promised in court that in the meantime no adverse actions will be taken against the petitioners.
Both the court and the petitioners’ lawyer expressed their satisfaction with the SG’s statement, after which the matter was postponed until the third week of January so that the higher court could decide on the petitions for review at that time.