DB to hear PIL seeking CBI probe in Roshni Scam on March 18


Jammu, Mar 12: In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) titled Ankur Sharma and State of J&K and Others challenging the Jammu and Kashmir State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, which is popularly known as 'Roshni Act and also seeking CBI Probe, A Division Bench of the J&K High Court (Jammu Wing) comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and First Puisne Judge Justice Rajesh Bindal after hearing Adv Ankur Sharma fixed March 18, 2020.
DB also directed respondents to comply with Authorities to comply with the directions passed by this Court on February 20, 2020. When the PIL Came-up for hearing, DB Observed that Several directions made by us by order dated 20th of February, 2020 in PIL No.41/2014, OWP Nos.43/ 2011, 933/2015 and PIL No.6/2019, have not been complied with.
DB further directed that the directions issued vide order dated Feberuary 20, 2020 have to be complied by the Secretary, Revenue Department; Commissioner/ Secretary, Department of Information & Broadcasting and Deputy Commissioner, Jammu.whereby Division Bench directed authorities to effect a calculation of the value of the public land which has vested in the encroachers, list whereof has been furnished before us. We would also like to be informed of the division of the land in terms of its classification as urban, rural, forest land or of any other nature, DB said. DB further observed that our attention also stand drawn to report dated 16th February, 2020 published in the "Business Standard" captioned as "Illegal entries on 659 acres of forest and state land detected in Jammu". Perusal of the report shows that the Deputy Commissioner, Jammu has unearthed the illegal entries on the forest and the State land on 659 acres and two places in Jammu. The matter regarding examination of illegal entries is still going on. DB Directed the Deputy Commissioner, Jammu shall ensure that enquiries in to all such entries is effected expeditiously and the Deputy Commissioner, Jammu shall ensure that strict action is taken against the public and private person who are responsible for these entries. DB further directed Deputy Commissioner, Jammu to draw the list of the beneficiaries of such fake entries as well as the persons who were placed in the positions of authority responsibility, when such fake entries were effected in the revenue records. DB further directed that all steps for recovering the land which may have been illegally encroached premised on such fake entries shall be taken forthwith and filed a report in this regard. DB further seek information as to whether there has been any legislation similar to the Jammu and Kashmir Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 enacted by the Central Government or any other legislature in India. Copy where of shall be placed before us by the counsel for the parties.;
DB further directed that Secretary, Board of School Education, Jammu, Secretary, Revenue Department, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Principal, Chief Conservator of Forests, were to submit reports whereby DB directed a copy of entire paper book including the writ petition and all the status reports on record be made available to the Divisional Commi-ssioner, Jammu as well as the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. They shall scrutinize the entire records and a report be submitted to us after careful and complete scrutiny, not only the court record and status reports but also the relevant records and documents. These officers shall cause a physical inspection of the land to be undertaken and, if necessary, fresh demarcation be conducted by an officer not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner.
With regard to paragraph No.25 of our order dated 20th of February, 2020, Mr. Ankur Sharma, had brought to our notice the prayer made in CMP No.48/2014 in PIL No.19/2011 praying for a CBI inquiry into the entire matter. It is pointed out that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India had reported that implementation of the Roshni Scheme has resulted in a loss over Rupees Twenty Five Thousand Crores to the public exchequer, DB observed that As recorded on 20th February, 2020, we look into this matter after the status reports in terms of this order are placed before us.

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