Identities of influential persons to be put on website
*Modalities to be worked out for handing over received money
JAMMU, Oct 31: Acting on the judgment of the High Court whereby Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 commonly known as Roshni Scheme has been declared as unconstitutional, the Government has directed the Principal Secretary Revenue Department to ensure that all the mutations done in furtherance of the Act are annulled, encroachers are evicted and large tracts of land are retrieved within a period of six months.
The Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 was challenged before the High Court in Public Interest Litigation (PIL) No.19/2011 and the High Court after considering the contention of the parties and the law on the subject has held that the Act as amended from time to time is unconstitutional, contrary to law and unsustainable.
It was further held by the High Court that Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Rules, 2007 are not inconsonance with the statutory provisions. Accordingly, High Court had directed that the necessary action be taken against the beneficiaries and those who are still encroaching upon the land.
Acting on the judgement/directions of the High Court, the Government has directed the Principal Secretary Revenue Department to pass an order declaring all actions taken under the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 as amended from time to time and rules made there-under as void ab-initio. “He shall ensure that all the mutations done in furtherance of the act are annulled”, reads the order, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR.
The Principal Secretary Revenue Department has further been directed to work out a plan to retrieve the large tracts of State land vested under the Act in a time bound manner. “He shall work out the modalities and plan to evict encroachers from such State lands and retrieve the State land within a period of six months”, the order further reads.
Further, the Principal Secretary has been asked to work out modalities for handing the money received for these lands after annulment. “He shall also ensure that information regarding district wise State land as on January 1, 2001 are compiled and posted on the official website as well as NIC website”, the order said.
The details which will be made available on official website include the State land which was in illegal and unauthorized occupation of persons/entities will full identify of encroachers and particulars of the land; the applications received under Roshni Act; the valuation of land; the amounts paid by the beneficiaries; the orders passed under the Roshni Act and the persons in whose favour the vesting was done and also further transfers, if any, recognized and accepted by the authorities.
Moreover, there are directions for posting on website the complete identities of all influential persons including ex-Ministers, legislators, bureaucrats, Government officials, police officers, businessmen etc, their relatives or persons holding Benami for them, who have derived benefit under the Roshni Act and Rules and/or occupy State lands.
The Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir have been directed to place on record before the High Court district-wise full details of the encroached State land not covered by Roshni Act, which continue to be under illegal occupation; the full identify and particulars of land and persons/entities encroaching the same.
“The Revenue Secretary shall ensure that this information is also posted on the website and the action taken shall be shared by the Revenue Department with the General Administration Department on a weekly basis”, read the order.