J&Okay ex-Deputy CM who slammed govt land switch was additionally unlawful occupant


FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and senior BJP chief Kavinder Gupta, who described the switch of state land beneath the controversial Roshni Act (now annulled) to personal people as “land jihad” within the run-up to the District Growth Council (DDC) elections final November, was himself an unlawful occupant of state land from 2010 until the start of 2017.

Based on data obtained from the Bhalwal Tehsildar beneath an RTI software filed by Advocate Sheikh Shakeel, Kavinder Gupta together with two others — Subash Sharma and Shiv Rattan Gupta — collectively occupied Khasra No. 1789 measuring 23 kanaal, 9 marla (eight kanaal = 1 acre or 4,047 sq m, 1 marla = 270 sq ft) at village Ghaink in Bhalwal tehsil in Jammu district between 2010 and 2016. Khasra quantity is a plot quantity given to a chunk of land by the income division.

Sharma is an unbiased councillor and represents Indra Colony, Janipur, within the Jammu Municipal Company. Shiv Rattan Gupta is a resident of Indra Colony.

Each Kavinder Gupta and Sharma denied having occupied authorities land in Ghaink village. “I swear by my mother and father that I don’t know as to how and when income officers entered a girdawari pertaining to 23 kanals and 9 marla state land at Ghaink in my identify, and the way and when it was cancelled,’’ Kavinder Gupta informed The Indian Categorical.

In 2010, when the khasra girdawari (income division doc that specifies land and crop particulars) was entered of their names, J&Okay had a Nationwide Convention-Congress coalition authorities and Kavinder Gupta was the Mayor of the Jammu Municipal Company. This was, nonetheless, cancelled on February 9, 2017, by the Bhalwal Tehsildar following a 2011 order of the J&Okay Excessive Court docket which directed the federal government to cancel all mutations and girdawaris of state lands in favour of personal people.

The instructions had are available a public curiosity litigation filed by retired Professor S Okay Bhalla by way of Advocate Sheikh Shakeel. Kavinder Gupta was the Speaker of the J&Okay Legislative Meeting then.

Forward of the DDC polls in November 2020, the J&Okay authorities had printed lists of man, together with politicians of Opposition events and retired bureaucrats, who had occupied state land, or had possession transferred to them beneath the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Possession to the Occupants) Act, 2001, additionally known as the Roshni Act.

When contacted, Bhalwal Tehsildar Amit Upadhyay and Ghaink Patwari Mohammad Aslam stated they didn’t understand how the income entries (girdawari) in respect to state land had been entered within the names of Kavinder Gupta and two others in 2010.

Upadhyay, nonetheless, stated {that a} khasra girdawari in respect to state land can’t be entered in somebody’s identify till one stays current on the spot to indicate that the land is beneath his occupation. The land parcel — Khasra No. 1789 — is a hill with wild development and now stands restored to the federal government, he stated. “There is no such thing as a development, nor any cultivation,” he stated.

The J&Okay State Land (Vesting of Possession to Occupants) Act was legislated by the Nationwide Convention authorities led by Farooq Abdullah in 2001. It proposed to switch possession of state land to its unlawful occupants by charging them market charges, and hoped to lift Rs 25,000 crore for establishing hydel energy initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir (therefore the identify Roshni).

In 2014, the Comptroller and Auditor Normal referred to varied irregularities within the implementation of the scheme and the Vigilance Organisation moved towards over 20 authorities officers for misusing their official place in switch of state land to personal people. 4 years later, beneath Satya Pal Malik as J&Okay Governor, repealed the Roshni Act and cancelled all pending purposes in search of switch of possession of state land to its occupants. In October 2020, the J&Okay Excessive Court docket put aside the Act “ab initio” cancelling all actions taken beneath its provision since inception and ordered a CBI probe.

At a press convention in November 2020, the then Union Regulation Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had stated former J&Okay Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah was among the many beneficiaries of Roshni Act. Forward of DDC polls, when the J&Okay administration began making public the names of unlawful occupants of state land together with beneficiaries of the Roshni scheme, Kavinder Gupta described the federal government motion as a “surgical strike” towards the corrupt who “usurped priceless chunks of state land at dirt-cheap charges”.