DB directs Div Com to file latest status report or appear in person

PIL seeking demarcation of 66436 kanals of JDA land

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 14: In the much publicized Public Interest Litigation (PIL) highlighting encroachment of 20 lakh kanals of State land by the powerful land mafia in league with politicians, revenue and police officers, Division Bench of the State High Court comprising First Puisne Judge Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta today directed Divisional Commissioner Jammu to file latest status of the demarcation of JDA land in Jammu and Samba districts within a period of two weeks from today.
The Division Bench made it clear that in case the status report is not filed within two weeks, the Divisional Commissioner shall remain present before this court on the next date of hearing. The DB also directed the Vice-Chairman JDA to file response within a period of two weeks.
Earlier, when the PIL came up for hearing, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed appearing for the petitioner invited the attention of the Division Bench towards order dated January 30, 2018 whereby the Division Bench then headed by Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar had appointed Divisional Commissioner as Nodal Officer to implement all the directions issued from time to time for demarcation of JDA land in Jammu and Samba districts and also for removal of encroachments.
Advocate Ahmed further submitted that in the last status report filed by the then Divisional Commissioner Jammu Hemant Kumar Sharma it was divulged that in both districts a total 32612 Kanals and 09 Marlas of JDA land has been demarcated till March 2, 2018 and the same has been handed over by Revenue Department to JDA.
He further submitted that Divisional Commissioner being Nodal Officer has been remiss in carrying out the duties assigned to him by the Division Bench and appropriate directions are warranted so that the leftover demarcation of JDA land in Samba and Jammu districts is completed.
He further submitted that the time schedule fixed by the Division Bench has since expired and the demarcation is going at snail’s pace. Advocate Ahmed said that big sharks have encroached huge chunks of JDA land in connivance with revenue officials at various locations of Jammu and Samba districts and the demarcation has so far been restricted to small fries.
While expressing displeasure in the open court over the non-filing of the status report by the Divisional Commissioner, DB put a specific query to Senior AAG S S Nanda appearing for Revenue Department as to why the directions passed on July 21, 2018 have not been carried out. Upon this, the Senior AAG submitted that he shall file the status report within a period of two weeks from today.
At this stage Advocate R S Jamwal also appearing for the petitioner in CMA No.857/2013 submitted that despite the identification of the encroachers by the JDA no action has been taken so far and the encroachers have been enjoying their illegal possession over a large chunk of JDA land.