Jammu. Following the repeal of the Roshni Act 2001 in Jammu and Kashmir, authorities have released a list of its high-profile beneficiaries. The list of beneficiaries includes former ministers, bureaucrats, police officers, prominent businessmen and political party leaders. The Act was repealed by the High Court after which the government ordered the High Court’s decision to be implemented. The government in its order has directed the revenue officials to declare all mutations of land allotted under this act void and to initiate the process of withdrawing land from the possession of the beneficiaries.
Under the Roshni Act, an investigation into the Rs 25,000 crore land scam has been handed over to the CBI, which has allegedly brought some high-profile beneficiaries under its scanner. Under the Act, former minister Haseeb Drabu, his mother and two brothers own four kanals of land in the Gogjibagh area of Srinagar city. Former bureaucrat Muhammad Shafi Pandit and his wife own two Kanal land in the same area. Another former bureaucrat Tanvir Jahan has a canal land in Rajbagh area of Srinagar. All these were allotted under the Land Illumination Act.
Farooq Abdullah’s name in J&K lights scam, accused of land grab
Businessman and former treasurer of Congress Party K.K. Amala owns 14 kanals of land in the Maulana Azad Road area, where he has built a hotel. Similarly another prominent businessman, who was close to various governments in Jammu and Kashmir, Mushtaq Chaya has nine kanals of land in the Gogijbag area on which he has built a hotel. The Hahnad family, belonging to the Abdullah family, owns 18 kanals of land in Zaldagar area of Srinagar city.
The Congress-owned Khidmat Trust owns 7.15 kanals of land, while the National Conference owner Nawai Subh Trust owns 3.16 kanals in the city of Srinagar. Gugu Ram, a business family from Jammu, owns 38.5 kanals of land in Bahu and Chawri area of Jammu city under the same lights act. Interestingly, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir had passed the Roshni Act for the purpose of earning more than Rs 25,000 crore from the hydropower project.
What is Roshni Act: What is Roshni Act under which the name of Farooq Abdullah has come in the scam?
In 2014 CAG exposed this land scam. The CAG said that only Rs 76.24 crore was collected by the state government, while land worth billions of rupees was distributed under the Act. In a shocking disclosure, the land was valued at the market price at the time of allocation and then transferred to the beneficiary’s name, with an 80 percent discount on the market rate. In this way, a canal land which should be worth Rs 1 crore was given for 20 lakh rupees.
The State Vigilance Commission had registered a case against Besar Ahmed Khan, an advisor to the current Lieutenant Governor, for misuse of power in allotting land at Gulmarg ski resort. He was then the Development Commissioner in Baramulla.