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Will the CBI be able to reach to the root of Roshni land scam?

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over three cases under its watch which are associated with a land allotment scam in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in association with the revenue department officials.

This decision was a result of an order by Jammu and Kashmir High Court last month in which it declared the Act unconstitutional and directed the CBI to probe all allotments.

The investigations related to this case were begun by Vigilance Organisation of Jammu (now the J&K anti-corruption Bureau). The CBI has now taken over the case and registered three separate cases.

The first case is against unknown officers of the department alleging that they granted undue benefits by illegal occupants of the state land caused a huge financial loss to the state.

The second case was also against unknown officers in Samba district alleging that they too had given undue monetary benefits upon illegal occupants of the state land. The price for which land was allotted is also under suspicion and it is also alleged that in various cases, that the amount received was not transferred to the government treasury and caused a huge loss to the state.

The third case mentions an individual in Gandhi Nagar in Jammu and other unknown revenue officials in Jammu and unknown others. It is alleged that the officials colluded with this individual for allotment of land in Jammu’s Deeli.

The J&K High Court said last month that all the allotments done under Roshni Act, or the J&K State Land (Vesting of Ownership to Occupants) Act, 2001, would not be considered acceptable and be null and void.

It is speculated that in 2004 and 2007, the J&K government led by Mufti Sayeed and Ghulam Nabi Azad amended this to benefit illegal occupants. Governor Satya Pal Malik repealed this act in 2018 and suspended all the pending applications. He said in December last year that the implementation of this scheme has led to a Rs 25,000 Crore scam. He terminated the scheme when he came and gave the case to ACB for investigation.

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