HC seeks report from DC Pulwama, 7 others on Agri land conversion

Srinagar: The J&K High Court Monday asked Deputy Commissioner Pulwama to file status report in respect of all the directions issued in a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) seeking strict compliance of laws banning conversion of agriculture land.
Hearing the PIL filed by an NGO, Human Watch (Regd) International in 2012, a division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi also allowed submission by Advocate General M I Qadri, seeking two weeks time on behalf of Deputy Commissioners of Budgam, Anantnag, Kulgam, Kathua, Rajouri, Udhampur and Kishtwar for filing status report about the conversion of land.
All the Deputy Commissioners in the state are under directions from the court to ensure non-conversion of agriculture land and take stern action against the violators.
The direction to Deputy Commissioner Pulwama followed perusal of an application filed by a lawyer, Mohsin Qadri, by virtue of which he brought to the notice of court a construction on agriculture land situated right behind court complex and alongside Gousiya colony Namblabal Pampore.
In the application, Mohsin has sought directions for demolition of the “illegal structure” as well as to the Deputy Commissioner to file compliance of all the directions passed in PIL along with report pertaining to construction on agriculture land, particularly situated behind court complex Pampore and alongside Gousiya Colony Pampore.
He also sought Direction to SSP Awantipora to register FIR under section 188 RPC and other provisions against the violator like Tariq Ahmad (broker) of Hakbabra Pampore and Nazir Ahmad Mir of Frestbal Pampore.
While issuing the notice, the division bench directed that construction over the agriculture land behind court complex Pampore shall remain stayed.
“The Deputy Commissioner Pulwama shall file status report in respect of all the directions issued in the PIL.”
The court also directed the Tehsildar Pampore to file status report and appear in person on next date of hearing.
“If any violation of orders of this court is found, the SSP Awantipora shall register FIR by invoking penal provisions of law,” the court said, adding, “If the allegation against Tariq Ahmad and Nazir Ahmad is found to be authentic, then the construction be demolished immediately”, the court said and posted the application for further consideration week following next.
Meanwhile, observing that the state property has to be protected from encroachers, the court also stayed earth filling of Narkara wetland.
“On the last of date hearing, directions were issued for demarcation on the spot regarding area of a Numbal called Narkara so as to ensure complete prohibition on construction or any other encroachments,” the court observed.
Tehsildar (south) Srinagar, court said, was directed to get the demarcation conducted under in his personal supervision and report compliance.
While N A Shah, Deputy Advocate General, requested for further time, advocate Arshid Andrabi, representing his clients, stated that apart from land falling within the area of district Srinagar, some area may also fall in Budgam.
“If that be so then demarcation be also done by Tehsildar Budgam and compliance report be filed before next date of hearing,” the court said.
The court also requested Advocate M I Qadr to intervene in the matter and “help rescue the state land from the clutches of the encroacher.”
“We have been informed that this is a wet land and earth filling at the instance of encroacher is in progress. We direct that any earth filing shall remain stayed till further orders and if any violation of our order is found the same be reported so that violators be dealt with sternly.”