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(MENAFN – Kashmir Observer)

J & K High Court – File Photo

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the administration to upload on the official website a list of all encroachers, including influential persons, on government land,

The court said the revenue secretary and the divisional commissioners would be held liable for contempt of court if the directions were not complied.

In an order on Friday, it had ordered a CBI inquiry into the transfer of state land to the occupants under the Roshni Act, disposing of a bunch of public interest litigations seeking a probe into alleged discrepancies in the process.

A bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal, after pointing out numerous discrepancies, issued a string of directions to the administrations.

The order said the revenue department commissioner should ensure that the information regarding district-wise state lands as on January 1, 2001, were compiled and posted on the official website.

The details of government land under illegal occupation and full identity of encroachers and particulars of the land be posted on a website, it said.

These details included the applications received under the Roshni Act, the valuation of the land, the court observed.

It said there should be full information about the identities of all influential persons, including legislators, bureaucrats and businessmen, who have derived benefit under the Act to occupy state lands.

The divisional commissioners shall place on record district-wise full details of the encroached state land not covered by the Roshni act, it said.

The revenue secretary shall ensure that this information is also posted on the website of the respondents within four weeks.

In case the above directions are not complied with, the court said the revenue secretary and the divisional commissioners would be held liable for contempt of court.

The CBI shall also inquire into the continued encroachments on state lands, illegal change of ownership use, grant of licences, misuse of the land and raising of illegal constructions. The agency should also probe failure of the authorities to take action for these illegalities, it said.

The CBI shall specifically inquire into the matter of publication of the Roshni Rules, 2007, without the assent of the legislature.

The high court has asked the CBI to file a status report every eight weeks.

Petitioner Ankur Sharma of IkkJutt Jammu organisation alleged that an estimated loss of Rs 25,000 crore was caused to the exchequer in the scam.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration had in 2018 repealed the J & K State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001, commonly known as the Roshni scheme. (PTI)

Imposes Rs 25K Costs To CEO GDA

Jammu and Kashmir High Court has granted Chief Executive Officer Gulmarg Development Authority for filing a compliance report but said it shall be done with depositing Rs 25000 costs.

‘There is no compliance of our order dated 12.06.2020 passed in the instant application. We have noted on that date that we were inclined to initiate contempt of Court proceedings against the Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Development Authority,’ a bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta said as per news agency GNS.

The order pertains to handling and management of municipal solid waste by GDA which according to PCB causes irreparable damage to the ecology of the world famous skiing and tourist resort.

A. Chashoo, Additional Advocate General, submitted that there is some communication gap on account of the Covid-19 situation.

‘This in our view is no excuse whatsoever. It appears that the respondents have no intention of complying with our orders and simply biding time,’ the court said, adding ‘The learned AAG prays for one last opportunity to place the detailed explanation with regard to the Solid and Liquid Waste Management in Gulmarg and the matters raised in the newspaper report.’

‘We grant one such opportunity subject to payment of costs of Rs.25000 (twenty five thousand) which shall be deposited within seven days from today in the Advocates Welfare Fund,’ the court said, adding, ‘Proof of deposit of these costs shall accompany the compliance report of our order dated 12th of June, 2020 which shall be filed before the next date.’

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