High Court declares Roshni Act ‘unconstitutional’, orders CBI probe 

High Court declares Roshni Act ‘unconstitutional’, orders CBI probe 

Srinagar: Declaring the Roshni Act “unconstitutional” and all allotments void, the J&K High Court on Friday ordered a probe through Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) into the 25,000 crore Roshni Land Scam.

The court declared the Act unconstitutional and held all allotments made under the act void ab initio.

A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal allowed a petition that sought transfer of the Rs 25,000 land allotment scam under the Roshni Act from the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to the CBI.

The Central Agency will investigate more than dozen FIRs registered by the ACB in 2013.

The court also ordered that the investigation of the land scam be transferred to the CBI which will file the status report within eight weeks.

The court also said that J&K Chief Secretary will ensure uninterrupted investigation which will also be directed against those officers in whose tenures the encroachments had happened.

“Deputy Commissioners and Divisional Commissioners will be held for contempt of court if they do not cooperate with the investigation,” ordered the division bench.

In 2001, the Roshni Act was enacted by the government. The Act was enforced for raising funds for hydro power generation in the state by transferring state land into private ownership to collect Rs 25,000 crore.

A CAG report estimated that against the targeted Rs 25,000 crore, only Rs 76 crore had been released from the transfer of land into private ownership.

Earlier Advocate Ankur Sharma had filed a plea before the High Court seeking CBI probe into the land scam. He had pleaded before the court that under the garb of Roshni Act, around 20 lakh kanals of state land was illegally sold at peanuts.

The plea had said that since the Anti-Corruption Bureau probing the case is not able to bring the culprits behind bars, it should be impartially investigated by the CBI, as many influential people of Jammu and Kashmir including some top politicians, police officers, administrative officers and land mafia were involved.

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