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HC directs uploading of encroachers’ list on website

HC directs uploading of encroachers’ list on website
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Jammu, (PTI) The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the administration to upload on the official website a list of all encroachers, including influential persons, on government land,

The court said the revenue secretary and the divisional commissioners would be held liable for contempt of court if the directions were not complied.

In an order on Friday, it had ordered a CBI inquiry into the transfer of state land to the occupants under the Roshni Act, disposing of a bunch of public interest litigations seeking a probe into alleged discrepancies in the process.

A bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal, after pointing out numerous discrepancies, issued a string of directions to the administrations.

The order said the revenue department commissioner should ensure that the information regarding district-wise state lands as on January 1, 2001, were compiled and posted on the official website.

The details of government land under illegal occupation and full identity of encroachers and particulars of the land be posted on a website, it said.

These details included the applications received under the Roshni Act, the valuation of the land, the court observed.

It said there should be full information about the identities of all influential persons, including legislators, bureaucrats and businessmen, who have derived benefit under the Act to occupy state lands.

The divisional commissioners shall place on record district-wise full details of the encroached state land not covered by the Roshni act, it said.

The revenue secretary shall ensure that this information is also posted on the website of the respondents within four weeks.

In case the above directions are not complied with, the court said the revenue secretary and the divisional commissioners would be held liable for contempt of court.

The CBI shall also inquire into the continued encroachments on state lands, illegal change of ownership use, grant of licences, misuse of the land and raising of illegal constructions. The agency should also probe failure of the authorities to take action for these illegalities, it said.

The CBI shall specifically inquire into the matter of publication of the Roshni Rules, 2007, without the assent of the legislature.

The high court has asked the CBI to file a status report every eight weeks.

Petitioner Ankur Sharma of IkkJutt Jammu organisation alleged that an estimated loss of Rs 25,000 crore was caused to the exchequer in the scam.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration had in 2018 repealed the J&K State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001, commonly known as the Roshni scheme. PTI


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