HC tells state to respond to directions within 4 weeks
Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Tuesday directed the state to file reponse within four weeks to the recent directions on land acquisition scam in Pahalgam Golf Course.
The Division Bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Tashi Rabstan directed the Advocate General of the State D C Raina to file response within four weeks to the directions which were passed by the court on June 6 in relation to the follow up action on a 2014 court order on land scam in acquisition for Pahalgam Golf Course.
The issue pertains to disbursing of the government money by the revenue officials in Pahalgam to persons not entitled for the same.
The Division Bench on June 6 in the first instance had directed for comprehensive report from Chief Secretary with the observation that further course of action would be decided as and when such response and report is filed by the Chief Secretary.
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.
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 has said that 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 had remarked that this is not the end of it; numerous issues are likely to surface later as the case proceeds ahead.