Monday, August 8, 2016

Admn orders eviction of encroachment on huge land, deletion of wrong entries

For 8 yrs, several officers shut eyes towards grave issue

*FCR order openly defied to benefit encroachers

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Aug 6: The administration has ordered eviction of encroachment on huge chunk of land in the outskirts of winter capital, which was made in connivance with the field functionaries of the Revenue Department nearly 10 years back. Moreover, directions have been issued for deletion of wrong entries in the revenue record made by the accused officials in blatant violation of the standing instructions of the Financial Commissioner Revenue.

Interestingly, this encroachment was exposed more than eight years back but during all these years the concerned officers preferred to either shut eyes towards the issue or delay the action despite being aware of the fact that the encroachers had no legal ground to continue with their illegal possession.

Official sources told EXCELSIOR that in the year 1994-95, the Forest Department raised a plantation closure on the land retrieved due to change of course of Chenab river in village Garkhal and Kanachak. The closure was raised over 460 kanals of land in Khasra No.609 min at village Rajpura (Marh).

However, in the year 2006 the then Patwari Bodh Raj Sharma clandestinely and by abusing his official position and in contravention of the directions issued by the Financial Commissioner J&K through Circular No. FC/LS/Misc-1648/97 dated December 12, 1997 recorded the illegal possession of two encroachers namely Bua Ditta, son of Dhani Ram of Rajpura and Ram Pal, son of Parmanand of R S Pura in respect of 40 kanals of land, which was part of the forest closure comprised in Khasra No.609.

This is notwithstanding the fact that Financial Commissioner Revenue had debarred the Patwaries from entering illegal possession/Khasra Girdawari in respect of State land.

Ever since the recording of illegal entry of 40 kanals in favour of two land grabbers, a public spirited person Satish Kumar Sharma, son of Mela Ram Sharma of Rajpura camp left no stone unturned to persuade the authorities of Revenue and Forest Departments to evict the encroachers. Even the Project Officer of Forest Closure brought the issue to the notice of the then Divisional Commissioner Jammu vide communication No.86-87 dated February 12, 2008.

Thereafter, one after another representation was made right from Deputy Commissioner to the then Revenue Minister and Chief Minister but the encroachment remained intact because of dilly-dallying approach of the concerned authorities, who either shut eyes towards the issue or preferred to delay the action, sources said.
This is notwithstanding the fact that the Assistant Commissioner (Revenue) Jammu vide his communication No.DCJ/ACR/R/2010-11/322-24 dated December 4, 2010 submitted his report to the then Deputy Commissioner Jammu wherein he confirmed illegal possession with regard to 40 kanals of State land.

Recently, the complainant-Satish Kumar Sharma again raised the issue with the Commissioner Secretary Revenue, Commissioner Secretary Forest, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Deputy Commissioner Jammu and others through his counsel Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmad mentioning that any further delay in eviction of encroachment would compel him to knock at the doors of the High Court.

Now, the district administration has come to the conclusion after thorough examination of the record that plantation closure was established over State land falling under Khasra No.609 (old) of Khata No.713 under Khewat No.287 of village Rajpura in 1994-95. After settlement of village, illegal entry was recorded in favour of Bua Ditta and Ram Pal over 40 kanals of land which was also a part of forest closure.

As per the Assistant Revenue Attorney in new Record of Rights for the year 2006, Khasra No. 480 (new) and 609 (old) was recorded ‘Sarkar’ in Khewat No.267 under Khata No.713 while in tenant column 40 kanal of land was recorded under the cultivation of Bua Ditta and Ram Pal in equal share as illegal occupants. Assistant Revenue Attorney has further submitted that prior to settlement, no entry existed in favour of Bua Ditta and others with respect to Kh No.609 (old).

“This entry is found recorded in new Record of Rights during the process of settlement arbitrarily without any corresponding mutation of the past. Therefore, the entry needs to be removed from the new Record of Rights on the grounds of being void abinitio”, the Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Simrandeep Singh said in his order while placing reliance upon the Supreme Court order in the case of Jagpal Singh Versus State of Punjab wherein the Apex Court has passed categoric instructions regarding removal of encroachments from common lands.

Describing impugned entry in ROR as nothing less than the encroachment, the Deputy Commissioner, while accepting the case under Section 32 of Land Revenue Act, has ordered that the wrong entries in favour of Bua Ditta and Ram Pal over 40 kanals of land shall be deleted and recorded in favour of Forest Closure. He has directed the Tehsildar Marh to ensure eviction of encroacher from the ground as well.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Admn preparing dossiers of habitual land grabbers for slapping PSA

All Tehsildars asked to prepare history sheets before Aug 5

Posted on by Dailyexcelsior
*Non-compliance to invite adverse remarks in ACRs
Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, July 22: In a major step, the administration has initiated the process of preparing dossiers of habitual land grabbers for booking them under the Public Safety Act (PSA) as their activities have reached crescendo and often creating law and order problems. Moreover, all the Tehsildars of Jammu district have been directed to prepare history sheets of the land grabbers on the analogy of practice being followed in Police Stations against habitual criminals.

Reliable sources told EXCELSIOR that there is no end to the land grabbing incidents with complaints about this illegal activity are continuously pouring in from various parts of the Jammu district and the officers and officials of the Revenue Department are virtually feeling helpless in controlling this menace.

“This is mainly because the existing revenue laws have failed to ensure deterrence for not being very harsh and the land-mafia is taking undue advantage of this by fearlessly grabbing Revenue and Forest land”, sources further said while disclosing that huge chunk of Revenue and Forest land is either under the illegal occupation of the mafia or has been sold to the gullible persons after obtaining huge money from them.

Stating that numerous instances have recently come to the notice of the district administration whereby either Forest Department or Revenue Department land has been sold by land mafia by projecting as private land, sources said, “even the family of a civil servant has been cheated by the land mafia in the recent past”, adding “the family of this officer has been sold Forest Department land by projecting the same as private land at a huge cost”.

However, when the officer got the record verified he came to know that the land given to his family was actually a Forest land and subsequently they approached the seller, who flatly refused to return the money. This indicates that there is no fear of law among the land grabbers majority of whom are even enjoying backing of influential persons.

On the basis of several instances, the Jammu district administration has asked the Police, Revenue and Forest Departments to jointly prepare dossiers of habitual land grabbers and furnish the details to the administration, which has made up the mind to book them under the Public Safety Act, sources informed.

“These three departments have also been asked to ensure proper coordination in gathering information and preparing dossiers so that no legal lacuna is left and PSA is slapped on the land grabbers”, sources further said while disclosing that information with regard to several land grabbers has already been furnished by these three departments to the district administration for necessary action, which is likely within next few days.

Moreover, the administration has initiated the process for preparation of history sheets of the land grabbers and necessary directions in this regard have been issued to all the Tehsildars.

According to an order issued by the Deputy Commissioner Jammu, the copy of which has been obtained by EXCELSIOR from one of the Tehsildars, all the heads of the Tehsils have been explicitly told to identify five to ten notorious land grabbers on the basis of quantum of land encroached by them in their respective areas.

They have also been asked to prepare history sheets of such land grabbers on the analogy of the practice being followed in the Police Stations against habitual criminals bringing out the details of the land held by them along with the quantum of land and the period of such encroachment as reflected by the entries in Register Khasra Girdawari.

“The details of the encroachment of the village common lands and the State lands need to be reflected separately”, reads the order of Deputy Commissioner. All the Tehsildars have been asked to furnish this information by or before August 5, 2016 positively. In order to ensure that there is no slackness in ensuring compliance of these directives, it has been made clear to the Tehsildars that prompt action in this connection shall be seen as one of the criteria while writing Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) for the current year.

When contacted, several Sub-Divisional Magistrates (SDMs) of Jammu confirmed that Tehsildars have been asked to prepare history-sheets of the land grabbers in their respective areas. “We have been told to ensure necessary compliance in our respective areas”, they added.

It is pertinent to mention here that Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti while chairing the meeting of Deputy Commissioners in the recent past had directed for initiating action against powerful land grabbers.
Even Financial Commissioner (Revenue) vide Communication No. FCR/PS/DCC/6-18 dated April 5, 2016 had desired that an action plan should be prepared by each Tehsildar to vacate the encroached State land.