Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to Occupants) Act, 2001 commonly known as Roshni Act was promulgated during Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah's government in 2001. The law granted ownership of Jammu and Kashmir state lands to unauthorised occupants of those lands with the aim of raising money for power projects upon payment of a sum to be determined by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.[1][better source needed] The cut-off year was set as 1990 by the Government of Farooq Abdullah, which was extended to 2004 and again to 2007 by the PDP-Congress Government.[1] 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.[1]

Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to Occupants) Act, 2001
Jammu and Kashmir Legislature
  • An Act to provide for vesting of ownership rights to occupants of State Land for purposes of generating funds to finance Power Projects in the State.
Territorial extentJammu and Kashmir
Assented to9 November 2001
Commenced13 November 2001
Amended by
in 2005
Status: Repealed

Report of irregularities and repeal of the act edit

In 2014 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had raised issues of irregularities and, in 2015, the State Vigilance Organisation had charged over 20 government officials with misuse of the act; no one was prosecuted.[2] From 2015 onwards, efforts were made to get back some of the illegally acquired land.[3]

In 2018 the act was repealed during the tenure of the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik who ordered the investigation to be taken over by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).[4][5]

On 9 October 2020, following demands from IkkJutt Jammu, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court deemed the law and all allotments made since the beginning as "null and void" and "unconstitutional".[5][failed verification] The court also said that the rules framed in 2007 by the Government of Ghulam Nabi Azad did not appear to have any legislative sanction.[2][6][7] The state government has said that it will recover land distributed under the scheme in six months. All the identities of those who took advantage of the scheme were to be made public.[4]

On 22 October 2020, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory ordered the submission of comprehensive details of ministers, legislators, bureaucrats, police officers, government employees, businessmen, other influential persons and their relatives who have benefitted from the Act.[8]

On 24 November 2020, India's Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a press conference said that former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah was among the beneficiaries in Roshni Act. The others in the list were the former Finance Minister of J&K Haseeb Drabu, Congress leader Majid Wani, former Home Minister and NC leader Sajjad Kitchloo and former JK Bank Chairman MY Khan.[9]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d M, Rahul (14 October 2020). "Explainer: What's the controversial Roshni Act all about and why has J&K HC ordered a CBI probe into it?". Yahoo News.
  2. ^ a b Sharma, Arun (2018-12-03). "Explained: J&K Roshni Act: what it aimed to do, what happened until it was repealed". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  3. ^ Chauhan, Abha (2017-08-28). "7: Gendering the Landownership Question in Jammu and Kashmir". In Chowdhry, Prem (ed.). Understanding Women's Land Rights: Gender Discrimination in Ownership. SAGE Publishing India. ISBN 978-93-86446-33-6.
  4. ^ a b "J&K administration scraps Roshni Act, says government will retrieve land in six months". Scroll.in. 1 November 2020. Retrieved 2020-11-03.
  5. ^ a b Sharma, Arun (14 October 2020). "'Loot to own': J&K High Court hands Rs 25,000 crore land scam probe to CBI". Indian Express.
  6. ^ Ashiq, Peerzada (2020-10-31). "J&K government declares Roshni Act 'null and void'". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  7. ^ "J&K govt declares actions under Roshni Act 'null and void'; what you need to know". Firstpost. 2020-11-02. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  8. ^ "J&K admin working on details of beneficiaries of alleged Roshni Act scam". Deccan Herald. 22 October 2020.
  9. ^ Bhatt, Sunil (24 November 2020). "Farooq Abdullah's name surfaces in Roshni land scam, says it's only a ploy to disturb him". India Today.
  10. ^ Indian Defence Review Volume 18. Lancer International. 2003. p. 13. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  11. ^ "What is J&K's Roshni Act and how it enabled land 'loot' in the name of light". ThePrint. 2020-11-02. Retrieved 2020-11-03.

Further reading edit

  • Suhail, Peer Ghulam Nabi (2018). Pieces of Earth: The Politics of Land-Grabbing in Kashmir. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199091652.