DB seeks AG’s assistance in case of alienation of lands granted under State Water Policy



JAMMU: In a petition challenging Communication /order issued by office of the Respondent No. 2/Financial Commissioner (Revenue) bearing No.-LS/Misc-288/2020 dated 22.10.2020 regarding ‘Grant of permission for alienation of land recorded as Gair Mumkin Khad’ whereby all the permissions for alienation of lands were granted under the State Water Policy and Plan adopted vide SRO 456 dated 25.10.2017 and consequent transactions were declared invalid and void ab initio and it was further directed that no transactions for alienation of such lands shall ever be admitted for registration.
Justice Sindhu Sharma of Jammu & Kashmir High Court asked Advocate General to assist the Court in the matter tomorrow. When the matter was listed for hearing, Justice Sindhu Sharma after hearing Adv Sakal Bhushan appearing for the petitioner observed that there is no representation on behalf of respondents. The petitioner in this petition seeks quashing of communication regarding grant of permission for alienation of land recorded as Gair Mumkin Khad issued by respondent No.2 vide No. FC-LS/Misc-288/2020 dated 22.10.2020. Vide this communication, the revenue staff has been directed not to issue Fards of lands of Water Source like Chhapri, Talab, Springs, Chahs(Wells) and Water Courses like Nallahs and Khads to anyone under any circumstances and any such transactions which have happened in the past have been declared as invalid ab-initio.
Justice Sindhu Sharma further observed that keeping in view the implications of the prayer made by the petitioner and fact that there is no representation on behalf of the respondents till date, it is necessary to seek assistance of Advocate General in this matter and accordingly Court Advocate General is requested to assist in this matter on December 21, 2021.
In the petition submitted that communication/order is based upon an opinion of Senior Additional Advocate General dated July 28, 2020 as stated therein itself. The said opinion is in turn based upon wrong understanding of the provisions of J&K Big Landed Estates Abolition Act, Svt. 2007 (1950 AD), hereinafter referred to as ‘BLEA’. What has been ignored is the fact that Section 3 of BLEA itself had stated that the said Act will not apply to ‘any land which is occupied as site of a town or village and is not assessed to land revenue’. Therefore, reliance on any provision of BLEA in the legal opinion and the communication/ order based thereon is utterly misconceived, and deserves to be withdrawn on this ground alone.
During the course of hearing Advocate further submitted that “as a matter of fact, many colonies of Jammu Development Authority, J&K Housing Board and private colonizers have been built on the lands recorded as khads. e.g., Roop Nagar, Bantalab, Birpur, Chhani Himmat, Sainik Colony, Greater Kailash etc. The communication/order dated October 22, 2020 (Annexure-I) issued by the office of the Financial Commissioner (Revenue) has cast cloud on the status of all these lands and caused a lot of panic amongst people of J&K as it has the effect of disturbing the economy of people who cannot alienate their lands now and banks which cannot effectively enforce securities like mortgages created in their favour, besides adversely affecting the petitioner herein by nullifying the permission for alienation of land.