Srinagar (J&K) – The ‘Roshni Act’ also known as the J&K State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 was enacted by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir in the Year 2001, the main aim of formation of the Act on paper being to earn a rather significant amount of money – over Rs. 25,000 crore – by the commissioning of hydroelectric power projects in the State, and this was the reason why it was named ‘Roshni Act’.
The J&K administration on 23rd November made public on its website the list of land beneficiaries under the ‘Roshni Act’. The list was published in accordance with a Court order and the beneficiaries included former State Ministers, retired civil servants and politicians.
As per reports, former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah has also been named as one of the beneficiaries. The list names former J&K Finance Minister Haseeb Draboo, Congress leader and hotelier KK Amla, Business tycoon Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, retired IAS officer Mohd. Shafi Pandit and several others as land beneficiaries of the illegal ‘Roshni Act’. Besides, the list which has been prepared on the directions of the J&K High Court also names former Congress Minister and ex-Doda MLA Abdul Majid Wani and former Chairman of J&K Bank – MY Khan.
Farooq Abdullah had bought 3 kanals of land from private owners. However, while taking possession, he had also encroached upon 7 kanals of forest land and Government land in the surrounding areas. The present worth of these lands is estimated at around Rs.10 crore.
The Divisional Commissioners in J&K, who regularly supervise the progress on the cancellation of mutations of land transferred under the ‘Roshni Act’ in the Districts, have asked the Deputy Commissioners to submit the details of the beneficiaries at the earliest.
The J&K High Court pronounced the ‘Roshni Act’ as ‘illegal, unconstitutional and unsustainable’ and ordered a CBI probe into the allotment of land under this Act. The CBI had registered four cases in this regard so far.
CBI files the fifth case in connection with the illegal Act
The Premier Investigative Agency has filed another case in connection with the now illegal ‘Roshni Act’, this time against the former District Collector of Jammu, Hirdesh Kumar Singh, and one Bashir Ahmed as accused and others for alleged illegal grant of ownership of land parcels.