Jammu court orders closure of criminal misconduct case against IAS officer

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    Jammu court orders closure of criminal misconduct case against IAS officer

    Written by Arun Sharma
    | Jammu |

    November 16, 2020 3: 54: 18 am





    The advancement comes nearly a month after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court cancelled all land transfers made under the Act and ordered transfer of these cases to the CBI for investigation.

    A Jammu court has actually purchased closure of a criminal misconduct case versus an IAS officer for releasing an NOC permitting an entrepreneur to start construction on a piece of land.

    The plot was part of a piece of land moved to Jammu Advancement Authority (JDA), however the ownership of the plot was vested with the business person, Bansi Lal Gupta, under the J&K State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001, likewise referred to as the Roshni Act.

    The advancement comes almost a month after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court cancelled all land transfers made under the Act and bought transfer of these cases to the CBI for investigation.

    Accepting the final closure report of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, unique court judge Y P Bourney held that there is absolutely nothing on record to suggest that the individual in whose favour NOC was provided had any access to the officer or there was any factor for the officer to favour him. It stated the matter appears to have been considered in a routine manner by the officer in a bonafide performance of her tasks and, therefore, “no malafide could be associated”.

    ” Enabling such cases to hold on the heads of upright officers would just hinder the many from taking quick choices at the nick of the hour which would not remain in the interest of public at large,” the judge observed in the order on Thursday, including that “the instant case merits its closure.”

    Gupta owned a piece of land– determining 5 kanal and 2 marla– at Deeli in Jammu. This was, however, part of 194 kanal and 5 marla state land moved to Jammu Advancement Authority under survey No 781.

    Offering information, the court pointed out that in 2011, Gupta was denied permission to raise an office complex, with then JDA vice-chairman Vinod Sharma stating the plot belonged to JDA.

    Gupta then submitted a representation before the Divisional Commissioner, who looked for a report from Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, and the JDA vice-chairman. In 2012, the Divisional Commissioner marked his representation to the Chief Town Organizer, who notified the then JDA vice- chairperson Sarita Chauhan.

    She wrote back, highlighting that the land was moved to JDA and could not be moved to any individual under the Roshni Act. However, she left it to the wisdom of the Divisional Commissioner to see whether the land was appropriately transferred to Gupta, concluding that if so found, a notice be released and JDA’s claim be erased.

    Later, the Divisional Commissioner, in reaction to a letter from the Principal Secretary, Real Estate and Urban Advancement, wrote that the piece was alerted for the purpose of J&K Advancement Act, 1970 and that the notice did not authorise the transfer of state land to JDA. Referring to the JDA’s objection, he said that though it had persisted that the land came from it, it did not assault the conferment of Gupta’s ownership rights.

    The Principal Secretary forwarded the report to the JDA Vice- Chairperson for action. She once again looked for an information, to which JDA’s director, land management, said the entries in the record in favour of JDA were made without bearing in mind the real status of land at the time and that it was in physical possession of Gupta. This cleared decks for issuance of NOC.

    ” It was not within her skills to being in judgement and decide whether the land in question was appropriately or mistakenly transferred in favour of Bansi Lal,” the judge held.

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