Three weeks after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court ordered a CBI probe into an alleged scam in the Roshni land scheme, the J&K administration on Saturday said it would annul all actions taken, cancel mutations and retrieve entire land in six months.
The scheme initially envisaged conferment of proprietary rights of around 20.55 lakh kanals of land (102750 hectares) to occupants of which 15.85 per cent of land was approved for vesting of ownership rights. But against the expected revenue from such occupants, the revenue actually generated was meagre, thereby failing to realise the objective of the scheme that was finally repealed by Satya Pal Malik, the former governor of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, on November 28, 2018.
On October 9, a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal ordered the CBI probe into irregularities in the scheme and directed the agency to file a status report every eight weeks. "The J&K administration has decided to implement the high court order in which it declared the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001, as amended from time to time as unconstitutional, contrary to law and unsustainable," an official spokesman said.
An order issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, with the approval of the Lt Governor, stated that the government has been found necessary in the order to implement the judgment passed by the court on a PIL and other connected matters. "Now, therefore, it is hereby ordered that the principal secretary to the government, revenue department, shall pass an order declaring all actions taken under the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001, as amended from time to time, and rules made there under as void ab-initio," the spokesman said quoting the order. He said it would be ensured that all the mutations done in furtherance of the act are annulled. The principal secretary will also work out a plan to retrieve the large tracts of state land vested under the act in a time-bound manner, the spokesman said.
He said the secretary will also work out the modalities and a plan to evict encroachers from such state Land and retrieve it within six months. The officer would also work out modalities for handling the money received for these lands after annulment, the spokesman said.