STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir government has filed a review petition against the annulment of the Roshni Act by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.The petition, filed on December 4, says a large number of people would suffer unintentionally including landless cultivators, people residing in small dwellings. “They are unfortunately clubbed along with rich and wealthy land grabbers who have obtained title over state land through the provision of now struck down act,” the review petition says, as reported in an online edition of a national news magazine.Calling on the Court to distinguish between the two classes of people, the review petition, likely to come up for hearing on Monday, also urges the Court to allow the government to formulate an appropriate mechanism to enable people like landless cultivators and single dwelling owners to continue to remain in possession of their land, subject to appropriate ceiling and on payment at appropriate rates.The review petition also says that there are apprehensions that the High Court verdict may lead to an unintended roving inquiry by the CBI, which may go on endlessly without generating the results sought by the High Court.As reported in a national news magazine, the review petition says the court’s intent was to identify the wealthy and influential individuals who manipulated the system to obtain benefits under the Roshni Act and encroached upon the public lands.The High Court through a judgment on October 9, 2020, made all the transfers of land under the law as illegal, declared the controversial Roshni Act “unconstitutional” and directed that investigation into the land allotment scheme under it be transferred to the CBI for investigation.According to the lawyers associated with the case, under the scheme, the transfer of ownership rights was approved for 33,345.35 kanals (1kanal= 0.8 acre) in the valley as against 3,14,810.18 kanals in Jammu.The government had estimated that 20 lakh odd kanals were to be sold to fetch Rs 25000 crore. But in actual fact, only 3.48 lakh kanals were sold for Rs 76 crore. (OUTLOOK)
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