Day of reckoning for owners of Benami property

Law of moral retribution operates if not sooner but definitely later and when things are bound to turn full circle, those enjoying the privileges of ‘touch me not’ have to face rigours of the law of the land, now in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Intricate legalities of the rationale or scrapping of special status which the State enjoyed till August 6, 2019 apart, under its and an d protection if not alibi, innumerable corrupt people, mostly public servants, used to have a field day in purchasing properties in someone else’s name and then indulge in sale and resale only and only for making more money.
It is beyond comprehension that when a strict law was enacted by the Union Government prohibiting of any type of transactions with regard to purchase and sale of Benami properties in 1988 and Modi Government in 2016 carried out several amendments in the said Act to make the same more stringent, on the contrary why a law was made in the State of Jammu and Kashmir in the year 2010 for purposes of decorating papers and files only as no rules were made to give teeth to the Law for implementation. Successive Governments maintained the same policy , perhaps knowingly, by not making rules to facilitate amassing wealth , erecting posh bungalows , purchasing the yellow metal and investing in the back to back black money transactions by a vast group of corrupt and unscrupulous people. Their day of reckoning, however, is fast approaching.
Not only has the scenario which has been there for decades, all with the blessings of the political leadership, created classes in the society of very rich and the ones at marginal levels or with incomes and possessions just like peanuts in comparison to these Benami transactions lords but nursing prejudice and hatred for such corrupt people and more so, keep deriding the state administration for taking no action against them . It may be recalled, that there used to be spate of protest processions in Kashmir valley where people used to chant very meaningful slogans, “Quami sarmaya ka hissab do” and “Loot khasoot bundd karo” or “Give an account or explanation of where was the national wealth spent and stop this loot and plunder.” Such slogans and sentiments of the people were treated lightly, if not with disdain and aversion. What they demanded then, would be hopefully fulfilled to a larger extent now, thanks to scrapping of ‘special status’ and annulling of diluted and non functional state laws automatically with effect from Oct 31.
While on the one hand, it is argued that the State is economically backward and needs more private investments, at the same time palatial bungalows, plots in plum localities, misusing agricultural land for massive constructions, farm houses, vehicles, luxuries, ostentatious spending on weddings and social functions and buying material for luxuries could be not only felt but seen as well in huge measure. Come October 31, the doomsday is fast nearing for these unscrupulous and corrupt people who made a lot of hay while the sun shone for them only. Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 and the (modified) Central Act of 2016 will automatically become applicable to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh. Now whosoever is nabbed and expectedly the number could go up to hundreds, would face punishment with rigorous imprisonment up to 7 years and 25 percent of fair market value as fine. As many as 6 professional agencies would be rendering their services with intent to enforcement of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act and violators, therefore, shall have no chance to get scot free or find exit holes except to pay heavily for their black deeds.