Court directs state to file status report
Jammu: In a significant order a Division Bench of the State High Court comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice B.S. Walia directed State of J&K to file status report within three weeks regarding mechanism proposed to be evolved to remove encroachments and restore more than 20 lacs kanals of state land to its original status.
The Division Bench also directed the State Vigilance Organization to file updated status report regarding the FIRs registered with regard to Roshini Scam.
When the much publicized Public Interest Litigation filed by Prof. S.K. Bhalla highlighting land grabbing of State land by bureaucrats, politicians, police officials in league with land mafia, came up for hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocate Rahul Raina appearing for the PIL drew the attention of the Division Bench to the order passed by the Division Bench on May, 6, 2015 whereby the Revenue Department had been directed to file a comprehensive report regarding mechanism proposed to be evolved to remove encroachments and restore the encroached land to its original status. Advocate Ahmed further submitted that the matter further came to be listed on June, 10, 2015 and July, 9, 2015 but till date the State Government has not come up with the status report suggesting the mechanism evolved for removal of encroachments. He strenuously argued that more than 20 lacs kanal of state land is under the occupation of the land mafia which has the backing of politicians, bureaucrats and police officers and huge chunks of state land have been grabbed in broad day light by the powerful land mafia.
Advocate S.S. Ahmed according to CNS, further submitted that on the directions of the Division Bench the Divisional Commissioner Jammu and Kashmir have filed more than 13 compilations/volumes disclosing the names of the encroachers of state land district wise and appropriate directions are warranted for removal of such encroachments within a stipulated time.
AAG Ehsan Mirza appearing for Commissioner/Secretary Revenue Department stated that he may be given time to file compliance of the order passed by the Division Bench on May, 6, 2015 read with orders passed on June, 10, 2015 and July, 9, 2015. Upon this the Division Bench granted three weeks time to AAG Ehsan Mirza to come up with a comprehensive report regarding mechanism proposed to be evolved to remove encroachments and restore the encroached land to its original status.
Advocate S.S. Ahmed also drew the attention of the Division Bench towards the last status report filed by State Vigilance Organization in MP No.48 of 2014 (Roshini Scam) and the Division Bench after referring to the said status report issued fresh directions to the State Vigilance Organization to file updated status report by or before next date of hearing.
At this stage Advocate S.S. Ahmed also requested the Division Bench to issue directions to the General Administration Department to file status report with regard to the cases which have been referred by the State Vigilance Organization for accord of sanction with regard to the officials prima facie involved in the much publicized Roshini Scam. He further submitted that the Supreme Court has stipulated the time limit in this regard in the much publicized case of Dr. Subramanium Swamy V/s Dr. Manmohan Singh. However the Division Bench observed in the open court that this prayer will be considered after considering the status report of the Revenue Department and SVO.
The Division Bench also directed the Registry to furnish a copy of MP No.176/2015 to AAG Ehsan Mirza. Advocate S.C. Gupta appeared on behalf of the interveners who are seeking directions for removal of encroachment from 342 Kanals of land which is allegedly in possession of three daughters of former PHE Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din. Advocate Jaggpal Singh appeared in MP No.176/2015 whereas Advocate Ahtsham Bhat appeared on behalf of General Administration Department.
Looking into the importance of the matter the Division Bench directed the Registry to list this PIL in the week commencing November, 16, 2015.
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