DB directs CS to produce record or appear in person

PIL against illegal transfer of 623 kanals of forest land

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, June 8: In a PIL filed by Bhim Singh, Supremo JKNPP alleging that 623 kanals and 10 marlas of forest land has been illegally transferred to JDA in violation of Section 2 of Jammu & Kashmir Forest (Conservation) Act, 1997, Division Bench of State High Court comprising Justice JP Singh and Justice Hasnain Massodi expressed its displeasure over the non-production of records by the State counsel and anguish over seeking of adjournment by Advocate Srishti Pal Mengi appearing for Advocate General.
In the PIL, it has been alleged that in order to please his party men and disgruntled associates Chief Minister found a novel project to built colony on the forest land. “One million people of Jammu have been made to suffer by the destruction of forest and greenery around the city for the pleasure of politicians in power and the high flying bureaucrats”, the PIL said, adding “Supreme Court in a judgment has prohibited the destruction of forests or trees and the same judgement is also applicable to J&K”.
With these submissions, the petitioner has been seeking indulgence of Court to protect the fundamental rights of the people and quashment of the Government order dated June 10, 1998.
After hearing both the sides, DB observed, “the counsel appearing for Advocate General is seeking adjournment but has no reasons to offer for non-production of the summoned records”, adding “due to non-production of the records, the issues raised in the PIL could not be considered”.
After considering the submissions of Amicus-Curie Advocate SK Shukla, DB said, “finding no justification for non-production of records by the State Government, court is of the view that the directions needs to be issued to the Chief Secretary to produce the records”.
Accordingly, the Chief Secretary was directed to ensure that the requisite records were produced on the next date failing which he will have to appear in person to justify non-production of the records.