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On J&K Govt’s plea, Roshni review hearing advanced by 5 days; HC asks CBI to file ATR before Dec 11

roshni


Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has made another surprising move in the Roshni Scheme row by seeking advance hearing of review petition in the much-publicized case in J&K High Court.

On Tuesday, the J&K High Court Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal heard a fresh miscellaneous application filed by J&K government seeking preponement of the date of hearing of the review petition which is scheduled for December 16.

 

As soon as the application was put up for hearing, the Division Bench asked AAG Aseem Sawhney the reason for the hurried approach.

“What is the urgency in the matter?” the bench asked Sawhney.

To it, he submitted that the CBI has started the probe “and it has restricted its probe to those FIRs which were being probed by ACB earlier”.

“It is creating problems for the officers of the J&K Government and if CBI probe in those cases is allowed to continue it will amount to unsettling the settled things,” AAG Sawhney submitted.

He added that the J&K Administration be allowed to formulate a policy for segregating the poor and the farmers from the purview of the judgment dated October 9 passed by the Division Bench in PIL No.19/2011 and other connected matters.

Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed, appearing for the petitioner who had filed the main PIL in the case decided on October 9, submitted that ever since the passing of the Judgment by the Division Bench, a “false narrative contrary to facts and records was run by vested interests to defeat the very intent and purpose of the court directions.”

“…after the passing of the judgment, a false narrative contrary to facts was run to target a particular community and that community was falsely accused of grabbing ponds, rivers, state land and forest land in J&K even when there were no such observations or directions in the judgment passed by the Division Bench,” Advocate Ahmed said.

He submitted that the Judgment of the Division Bench was “misinterpreted to foster the false narrative to mislead the common masses and to create a wedge between the peace-loving people of J&K”.

Advocate Ahmed argued that Divisional Administration of Jammu was “selectively leaking the names of Roshni beneficiaries in the media to target a particular community and to give a wrong impression under the garb of the directions of the Division Bench.”

He further added that recently a news portal of Jammu leaked the list of beneficiaries belonging to Village Ghaink, Tehsil Bhalwal District in Jammu in which “an important name of a political figure (the former Deputy Chief Minister) allegedly surfaced and thereafter the Divisional Administration of Jammu resorted to criminal silence and conveniently hushed up the matter without clarifying the particulars of that alleged political person.”

The Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Gita Mittal, who retired today, while expressing its deep concern and displeasure in the open court orally observed: “We don’t want discrimination of any kind on the basis of Culture, Region, Religion/Status…we don’t want lopsided investigation and the investigation has to be fair”.

“The Judgment never intended to target people unnecessarily,” the bench remarked and directed the CBI Counsel Monika Kohli to file first Action Taken Report (ATR) in a sealed cover before the next date of hearing.

Advocate Monika Kohli appearing for CBI resisted the submissions of AAG Aseem Sawhney and submitted that CBI is “investigating the Roshni Land Scam squarely as per the directions of the Division Bench” and said that CBI is almost ready with its ATR and the same shall be filed shortly.

After considering the heated arguments from both the sides, the Division Bench allowed the preponement application moved by the J&K government of J&K and fixed the main PIL (PIL No.19/2011) alongwith the review petition of J&K Government for hearing on December 11instead of December 16.