Roshni judgment not against any religion, region, status: DB

CBI directed to file ATR in sealed cover

Expresses annoyance over selective targeting

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 8: Making it clear that its judgment in the Roshni scam was not against any culture, religion, region and status, Division Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal today expressed annoyance over the selective targeting by the administration and said that order never meant to target people unnecessarily.
Moreover, the DB has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file Action Taken Report (ATR), as per the previous directions, in a sealed cover by next date of hearing.
The DB was hearing a fresh Miscellaneous Application filed by Government of Jammu and Kashmir seeking pre-ponement of the date of hearing of the review petition which had been fixed for December 16, 2020 along with the PIL No.19/2011.
When the pre-ponement application came up for hearing, the Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Gita Mittal put a specific query to Additional Advocate General Aseem Sawhney, “what is the urgency in the matter”. Upon this, AAG submitted that CBI has started probe and it has restricted its investigation to those FIRs which were being probed by ACB earlier and it is creating problems for the officers of the UT Government. “If CBI probe in those cases is allowed to continue it will amount to unsettling the settled things”, he added.
AAG Sawhney further submitted that the UT administration be allowed to formulate a policy for segregating the poor/farmers from the purview of the judgment dated October 9, 2020 passed by the Division Bench in PIL No.19/2011 and other connected matters.
At this stage, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed appearing for the petitioner in PIL No.19/2011 submitted that ever since the passing of the judgment by the Division Bench, a false narrative contrary to facts and records was run by vested interests to defeat the very intent and purpose of the court directions.
“A particular community was targeted of grabbing ponds, rivers, State land and forest land when there were no such observations/directions in the judgment passed by the Division Bench. Moreover, the judgment was misinterpreted to foster the false narrative to mislead the common masses and to create a wedge between the peace loving people of UT of J&K”, he further submitted.
Advocate Ahmed vociferously argued that Divisional Administration of Jammu is selectively leaking the names of Roshini beneficiaries in the media to target a particular community and to give a wrong impression under the garb of the directions of the Division Bench which was never the intent of the directions passed by the Division Bench on October 9, 2020.
He further submitted that recently a news portal of Jammu leaked the list of beneficiaries belonging to village Ghaink of Jammu wherein an important name of a political figure/Ex-DyCM allegedly surfaced and thereafter the Divisional Administration of Jammu resorted to criminal silence and conveniently suppressed/ hushed up this matter without clarifying the particulars of that alleged political person.
While expressing its deep concern and displeasure, in the open court, the DB orally observed/remarked, “we don’t want discrimination of any kind on the basis of culture, region, religion and status”, adding “we don’t want lopsided investigation and the same has to be fair”.
The Division Bench further remarked, “the judgment never intended to target people unnecessarily” and directed the CBI Counsel Monika Kohli to file first ATR in a sealed cover before the next date of hearing.
Advocate Monika Kohli resisted the submissions of AAG Aseem Sawhney and submitted that CBI is investigating the Roshini land scam squarely as per the directions of the Division Bench. She divulged that CBI is almost ready with its Action Taken Report (ATR) and the same shall be filed shortly.
After considering the heated arguments from both the sides, the Division Bench allowed the pre-ponement application moved by Government and fixed the main PIL No.19/2011 alongwith the review petition for hearing on December 11, 2020 instead of December 16, 2020.
The Division Bench, during the course of hearing, made significant oral observations wherein it expressed anguish/ displeasure over selective targeting and impressed upon CBI to investigate the matter fairly. “Our judgment never meant to target people unnecessarily”, the DB said.