SRINAGAR: The cabinet sub-committee, constituted to “deliberate upon” house committee’s unanimous recommendation for revocation of the SRO-105, has submitted its report more than 50 days ago but the ruling PDP-BJP alliance is yet to take call on the controversial order that allows grant of leases to non-state subjects.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that the CSC met twice on November 12 and December 14 last year before submitting a memorandum to the state cabinet on 23 December 2016 for considering its “suggestions and advice.”
They said that while the cabinet met at least couple of times since then, the CSC report was not even on its agenda.
The 14-member house panel had found the SRO-105 in gross violation of the J&K constitution as well as state subject laws and had called for its immediate revocation.
The panel headed by NC legislator Muhammad Akbar Lone had concluded that J&K Minor Mineral Concessions, Storage, Transportation of Minerals and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules (SRO-105 of 2016) was violating all laws protecting interests of the State subjects.
“SRO-105 is in gross violation of the Constitution of J&K, Land Alienation Act, State Subject Law, Transfer of Property Act and Land Grants Act,” reads the report presented in the House in the legislative assembly.
While stating that only state’s permanent residents have exclusive right over immoveable property in the State, the house panel had said and referred to state subject order of 1927, section 6 of J&K Constitution, Article 370 and 35-A of Indian Constitution, in support of its claim.
The panel had also noted that Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1970, does not impinge upon the exclusive rights of permanent residents of J&K over the immoveable property within the State.”
“The rights of permanent residents have to be respected while framing Rules in exercise of powers section 15 and 23(C) of the Act,” it said.
The committee had observed that SRO-105 “ignores and disregards the constitutional and statutory imperatives relevant to grant of prospecting license, mining lease, quarry license and other minor mineral concessions”.
“It (SRO-105) deprives the permanent residents of the State of their rights. In other words, it throws open mineral concessions within the State, to non-permanent residents,” it said.
The committee has pointed out that the Apex Court judgment (Deepak Kumar versus State of Haryana) is not concerned with the right to claim minor mineral concessions. “The judgment, therefore, shall not be used as a cover to deprive the permanent residents of the State what rightfully belongs to them,” the report said.
The members of the CSC included Abdul Rehman Veeri (PDP)—Minister for Public Works and Parliamentary Affairs, Chander Parkash (BJP)—Minister for Industries and Commerce, Abdul Haq Khan (PDP)—Minister for Rural Development & Panchayati Raj and Law & Justice, Ch. Lal Singh (BJP)—Minister for Forest, Ecology & Environment, Haseeb A. Drabu (PDP)—Minister for Finance, Culture and Labour & Employment and Sham Lal Choudhary (BJP)—Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control. The issue rocked the assembly in its last budget session in Srinagar in June 2016 forcing the government to constitute a panel of legislators. Sukhnandan Kumar of the BJP resigned from the panel. (With inputs from Nouman Parvez)