JAMMU, July 21: 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 Justice Tashi Rabstan and Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta today directed the Divisional Commissioner Jammu to file the latest status of the demarcation of 66436 kanals of JDA land on the next date of hearing.
When the PIL came up for hearing, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocates Rahul Raina, Suraj Singh and Supriya Chouhan appearing for the petitioner invited the attention of the Division Bench towards the order dated April 11, 2017 whereby the Division Bench had directed the VC JDA, Deputy Commissioners of Samba and Jammu to complete the demarcation of 66,436 kanals of JDA land within five months.
“There has been infighting between JDA, Revenue and Police as JDA alleged complete non-cooperation from Revenue and Police Departments in the demarcation exercise”, he said, adding “in view of the divergent stance of three departments, the Division Bench on January 30, 2018 passed a detailed order whereby Divisional Commissioner was appointed as Nodal Officer in order to ensure the implementation of various orders passed by the Division Bench regarding the demarcation of JDA land and removal of encroachments”.
The Division Bench further issued directions to the Director General of Police to ensure proper police protection in view of the law and order problem created by land mafia to the officers of the JDA, he further submitted, adding the Division Bench had allowed 4 to 6 weeks time to the Revenue Department to handover the remaining land to the JDA and the then Advocate General had also assured the Division Bench that in so far as the demarcation of balance land the work shall commence immediately and will be reflected in the next status report to be filed by the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu.
He also invited the attention of the Division Bench towards the last status report dated March 3, 2018 filed by then Divisional Commissioner Hemant Sharma wherein it was stated that the Deputy Commissioner Jammu and VC JDA jointly vide No. DCJ/SQ/Demar-JDA/2017-18/8129 dated March 02, 2018 have intimated that 26,518 kanals and 6 marlas of land has been demarcated till March 02, 2018 in Jammu district and the same has been handed over to the JDA.
The status report further highlights that Deputy Commissioner Samba vide letter No. DCS/SQ/17-18/2028 dated March 02, 2018 has intimated that in Samba district 6094 kanals and 03 marlas of JDA land has been demarcated and the same has been handed over to JDA till February 28, 2018.
“More than 34,000 kanals of JDA land is yet to be demarcated in Jammu and Samba districts and the time line of 5 months has already expired”, Advocate Ahmed submitted and sought appropriate directions to the Divisional Commissioner for coming forward with the status of demarcation with effect from March 02, 2018 till date.
Accordingly, DB directed Senior AAG S S Nanda appearing for the State Government to file the latest status of the demarcation of JDA land as it exists on today on the next date of hearing with advance copy to Advocate S S Ahmed.