SRINAGAR: Member Parliament Tariq Hameed Karra’s petition, in which he has sought the custodianship of a plot of evacuee land at Habak, has been rejected by a tribunal on the grounds that he could not prove any evidence suggesting he was the property’s legal heir.
Chairperson of the Jammu and Kashmir Special Tribunal Sonali Kumar observed that Karra could not back his claim that he was the legal heir of Qamar-ud-din, the original owner of the land who had moved to Pakistan in 1947.
Qamar and his brother Imam-ud-din had left their property behind and settled in Pakistan after the Partition, while their brother Ahmed-ud-din had stayed back. According to Karra, his mother Kukab Hameed and Akhter Firdous, daughter of Ahmed-ud-din, had been allotted the property of the evacuee brothers. At the same time they are managers of the properties of other evacuees, Sajad-un-Nabi and Asgari Khanam.
But Kumar maintained Karra has failed to produce the requisite certificate from the government under section 14 of the Evacuees Act.
“Merely highlighting the facts without any proof on the record exhibits that the petitioner is unnecessarily dragging the respondents into litigation. The provisions of the Evacuees (Administration of property) Act cannot be done away with for the sake of facts as put forth by the petitioner as the provisions of the said Act have legal sanctity and are intra vires to the Constitution as has been held by the J&K High court also,” the order said.
It also upheld the allotment made the by Custodian General, saying the land, which had not been used for years, had generated a good amount of revenue to the state exchequer.
However, the Tribunal directed the Custodian Department to restore the property to Karra if he produces the requisite certificate and succeeds in establishing his claim.
While the Custodian Department can restore the property to Karra, however, the respondents can be given compensation or land at an alternative place as provided in the Act, read the order.
Besides Habak property, evacuee property believed to have been owned by the deceased brothers at Shivpora and a part of which is currently in Karra’s possession is also disputed. Recently, Opposition National Conference had sought a detailed investigation into Shivpora land and termed it as case of “land grabbing”.