No action on Roshni Act

#GS2 #GOVERNANCE #ACTs

The Jammu and Kashmir government made an oral statement in the Supreme Court that it will not immediately take “coercive action” against petitioners, who claim to be lawful occupants and land holders, challenging the “omnibus” verdict of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to scrap the Roshni Act.

  • They were being deprived of their rightful property in violation of Article 300A of the Constitution. 
  • The Bench asked petitioners to join in with others seeking a review of the verdict.

 

Roshni Act

  • Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to Occupants) Act, 2001 commonly known as Roshni Act was promulgated during Chief Minister Farooq Adbullah's government in 2001. 
  • The law granted ownership of Jammu and Kashmir state land to illegal encroachers with the aim of raising money for power projects upon payment of a sum to be determined by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • The cut-off year was set as 1990 by the Government of Farooq Abdullah, which in 2005 was relaxed to 2004 by the then PDP-Congress Government and further relaxed to 2007 by the Government of Ghulam Nabi Azad. 
  • The act got the unofficial name of "Roshni Act" from the J&K Government's said plan of using the funds raised from this to fund power projects in the state.

 

Misuse of the land act & land-grab

  • The act was misused to the effect that powerful land–grabbers who had acquired government land illegally were made the legal occupants of that government land. 
  • The beneficieries were mostly powerful politicians, bureaucrats and influential businessmen. 
  • The case has been alleged to have caused a loss of Rs 25,000 crores (approximately USD 3.3 billion) to the state treasury and has been called the biggest land scam in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
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