THE Jammu Kashmir High Court, in a significant order, on Monday asked the state government to file a status report suggesting mechanism for removal of encroachments on huge chunks of state land restoring it to its original status.
Giving three weeks time to the state, a division bench comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice B S Walia also directed the State Vigilance Organization to file during the period latest status report regarding FIRs registered in connection with Roshni scam involving irregularities into the transfer of prime state land to encroachers at throw away prices.
The directions came after the public interest litigation filed by Prof S K Bhalla drew court’s attention towards encroachment of nearly 20 lakh kanals of state land across Jammu Kashmir involving senior politicians, bureaucrats and police officers, besides land mafia.
Despite court’s repeated directions since May 6, the government has not come up with a report proposing mechanism for eviction of encroachers from state land so far, counsel Sheikh Shakeel pointed out. Appropriate directions for removal of encroachments within a stipulated time need to be issued by the court as respective Divisional Commissioners of both Jammu and the Kashmir provinces have already submitted before it more than 13 volumes disclosing names of people encroaching upon state land in every district, he added.
As Additional Advocate General Ehsan Mirza appearing for the Commissioner/Secretary Revenue sought time for filing compliance report in respect to the directions of the court, Divisional Bench directed the registry to deliver him a copy of a miscellaneous petition filed by some other people seeking removal of encroachment from 342 kanals of land allegedly in possession of the three daughter of senior Congress leader and former minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din. The bench also directed the registry to list the case in the week commencing November 16.