HC directs DCs to file report on illegal conversion of agri land

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed all Deputy Commissioners to file compliance report about the action taken against the unauthorized conversion of agricultural land in the state.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a bench of Justices Hasnain Massodi and Dhiraj Singh Thakur said that non-compliance of its orders would constrain the court to order their personal appearance before it.
As soon as the hearing started, amicus curie, advocate Jahangir Iqbal said that the respondents including DCs on the previous date of hearing were explicitly asked file affidavits regarding the orders.
The bench observed that delaying filing of status report stands in way of effective proceedings and such “practice is to be discontinued.”
Considering their  track record, the court said it would be constrained to direct the personal appearance of all the DCs in the event compliance report is not filed during the course of this week.
On last date of hearing, the court had asked all the Deputy Commissioners as also Srinagar Municipal Corporation to submit fresh status report by or before next date of hearing in PIL, indicating the action taken against the unauthorized conversion of the agriculture land and action taken against the violators.
The High Court has already directed government to ensure that no conversion of agriculture land was permitted for commercial, residential or industrial purposes.
The court had also directed all Deputy Commissioners in the Valley to ensure strict implementation of Agrarian Reforms Act to protect the agricultural land.
The court was hearing the PIL titled Human Watch International (NGO) Vs State Of J&K And Others.
The main grievance projected in the PIL is that the agricultural land transferred to and vested in tillers under the provisions of the Agrarian Reforms Act is being converted into residential housing colonies.