Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has announced its decision to annul all dealings under the Roshni Act, three weeks after it was declared unconstitutional and unsustainable by the high court. ALSO READ | India-China Ties Under ‘Severe Stress’, Changing Status Quo Of LAC ‘Unacceptable’: EAM Jaishankar
With the annulment of all action taken under the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 also known as the Roshni Act, the government has asked all such land to be retrieved and encroachments to be removed within six months.
“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 thereunder as void ab-initio,” the order issued by the Jammu and Kashmir department of law, justice and parliamentary affairs reads.
“The officer shall ensure that all the mutations done in furtherance of the Roshni Act are annulled. He shall also work out a plan to retrieve the large tracts of State land vested under the Act, 2001 in a time-bound manner. He shall also work out the modalities and plan to evict encroachers from such State land and retrieve it within a period of six months,” the department adds.
The identities of all influential people which can include ministers, government officials, police officers, legislators, bureaucrats, businessmen, their relatives or persons holding Benami for them, who have benefited under the Roshni Act, 2001, or Roshni Rules, 2007, will be revealed.
The action would be completed within a period of one month, the spokesperson said.
What is Roshini Act?
The scheme had initially looked to confer proprietary rights of around 20.55 lakh Kanals of land (1,2,50 hectares) to occupants of which 15.85 percent of the land was approved for vesting of ownership rights.
The government, initially, aimed to generate a lot of revenue by conferring rights to illegal occupants. It stated that the funds raised will be used to finance power projects in the state and hence it was called the ‘Roshni’ (light) act and came into effect in March 2002.
However, the cutoff was relaxed several times with reports of ownership being conferred for really less sum such as only Rs 100 per Kanal as ‘documentation fee’.
So against the expected revenue from such occupants, the revenue actually generated was meager, 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.
(With Agency Inputs)
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