J&K administration scraps Roshni Act; to retrieve land in 6 months

The administration of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday announced its decision to annul the Roshni Act and cancel all actions taken under the illicit land scheme with immediate effect. The government said this was necessary in order to implement the judgment passed by the court on a PIL and other connected matters.

Accordingly, all mutations of land under the Act stands cancelled and the administration will complete the process of retrieval of all land sanctioned under the illegal scheme within six months, an order issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs stated.
The decision comes three weeks after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court ordered a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the Roshni land scheme.
"Now, therefore, it is hereby ordered that the principal secretary to the government, revenue department, shall pass an order declaring all actions taken under the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001, as amended from time to time, and rules made there under as void ab-initio," stated the J&K department.
The Roshni land scheme, or the Roshni Act, was introduced as a revolutionary legislation that would help to boost the farming sector and in turn generate substantial revenue.
The Act initially planned conferment of propriety rights of around 1,250 hectares of land to occupants of which 15.85 per cent of land was approved for vesting of ownership rights.
But against the expected revenue from such occupants, the revenue actually generated was meagre, thereby failing to realise the objective of the scheme that was finally repealed by Satya Pal Malik, the then governor of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, on 28 November 2018.
Meanwhile, the Hurriyath Conference, led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called for a shutdown in Kashmir valley in protest against the Centre’s decision to open land ownership rights in the valley to all Indian citizens. 
Most shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments were shut in Srinagar in protest against the new land laws notified by the Centre for J&K, officials said.
Most shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments were shut in Srinagar while public transport was off the roads across the city. But private cars and auto-rickshaws were plying in some areas.
Similar reports were received from other districts of the Valley.
Earlier this week, the Centre cleared the decks for people from across the country to buy land in the union territory by amending several laws.
The Hurriyat had issued the call for the shutdown on Wednesday, a day after the Centre notified the new land laws.
“One after the other, laws are being invented and amended by New Delhi and forcibly thrust upon the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the Hurriyat said.