HC notice to govt on follow up status on 2014 judgement
Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday issued notice to Chief Secretary to file comprehensive response and status report on the follow up action on a 2014 court order on land scam in acquisition for Pahalgam Golf Course.
Commenting on the gravity of the case, in which corrective action is pending despite court order, the court asked if the CBI should be brought to investigate the matter as it involves huge losses to state exchequer.
The division bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur said, “We are of the opinion that at this stage it would be appropriate to issue notice only to the Chief Secretary of the State waived by Mr. M. I Dar learned AAG, to file a comprehensive response and status report in this regard. Further course of action would be decided as and when such response and report is filed by the Chief Secretary.”
In its 2014 judgement in petitions surrounding land acquisition for expansion of golf course at Pahalgam the court had noted that land belonging to the state had been expropriated by changing the nature in disregard of the law and rules, certain lands already acquired by the state continued to be in possession of private individuals and some persons had been allotted alternate lands in lieu of their portions of land, but entries in regard thereto had not been made in the revenue records.
The court said the notice to chief secretary is aimed to get information about the concerned competent authorities and the corrective actions taken by them.
“We need to know and determine the following issues -Who was or were the competent authority/authorities to take the follow up action and implement the common judgment of the Court dated 29.01.2014 in the seven writ petitions, the lead case being Mohd Sultan Khan vs State of J&K?
What course of action should be taken to retrieve the Government money disbursed to persons not entitled thereto, whether under the orders of the Civil Court or otherwise?
What action should be taken against the erring Government functionaries/officers, including the concerned Revenue Officers who remained posted in Anantnag and had an occasion to deal with the matter?
What is the present status of the criminal case that was filed by the Crime Branch before the Court of law and who were the accused therein?
Since the matter involves a huge State exchequer, why should not it be referred to the CBI for a thorough investigation etc., so that the erring Government functionaries and the beneficiaries of such a wrong are brought to justice?”
The court remarked that this is not the end of it; numerous issues are likely to surface later as the case proceeds ahead.