Place on record orders cancelling fake gift deeds: High Court to PDA
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Place on record orders cancelling fake gift deeds: High Court to PDA

Srinagar: The High Court Wednesday asked the Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) to bring on record the orders cancelling the manipulated gift deeds regarding over 29 kanal of land in Pahalgam.

A division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sanjay Dhar sought the details after Additional Advocate General M A Chashoo, appearing for PDA, informed it that appropriate action had been taken for the cancellation of the gift deeds and that the mutation entries were reversed.

The court granted the AAG two weeks time to bring on record the relevant orders passed by the authorities concerned for changing the revenue entries after he requested for the same.

In an earlier order the court had sought to know about the action on nullification of the deeds after it observed that in 1991, the then Chief Town Planner, Kashmir had dishonestly and fraudulently acquired about 29 kanal and 13 marlas of land in planning Sub-Zone A-14 through oral gifts shown to have been made by donors to his close and trusted employees and his associates.

The court had directed the Revenue department and PDA to initiate proceedings in accordance with the law for the cancellation of the manipulated gift deeds.

A status report filed by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Anti-Corruption Bureau, South, Kashmir had revealed that the then Chief Town Planner fraudulently acquired about 29 kanal and 13 marlas of land in planning Sub-Zone A-14.

Consequently, the charge sheet was submitted and the trial court vide order dated 6 February 2016 framed the charge against the accused persons. The charge-sheet was filed following the investigation in FIR registered in 2008 regarding fraudulent acquisition of land.

The report, however, said on the petitions filed by two of them, the HC had quashed the entire proceedings of the case vide judgment and order dated 16 October 2018 and now the matter is sub judice before the Supreme Court.

The court had observed that in view of the status report, nothing further was required to be considered and monitored in relation to the FIR.

With regard to the prayer for reframing of the Master Plan, the court had said the same no longer survived as the Master Plan at the relevant time was of the year 2005-2025 and now the Master Plan for 2015-2032 had been enforced.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the preservation of Pahalgam.

While a committee of some officers was constituted in 2004 to prepare the Master Plan for Pahalgam, the plan was allegedly prepared to pave way for some influential persons to acquire land and go for illegal constructions.

It is alleged that while the plan was being formulated, some top bureaucrats acquired land in ecologically-fragile areas with the help of land mafia and in their personal interest managed to designate these areas as permissible in the land use map of the Master Plan.

While the land across Sheesh Nag Nallah and Manipal Nallah in Chanhaji, a virgin area falling in the forest covered foothills was allegedly declared permissible without getting comprehensive feedback, the residential areas of Rinzipal and Bradihaji on the other side of Nallah had been declared non-permissible zone.

The committee allegedly resorted to misrepresentation, manipulations and distortions whereby it proposed that sub zone A-14, an inaccessible area on the other side of Sheesh Nag Nallah, be denotified to permit construction of hutments and other facilities while ignoring the sub-zone A-13 having sizeable population and being contiguous with the already denotified area.

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