he UT J&K Government is going to open liquor sale points at different locations in the Kashmir valley, where since 1991 militant groups had declared a ban on its sale and consumption. The Excise Department has identified 183 new locations 116 in Jammu and 67 in the Kashmir valley for sale of liquor.

25,000 Cr Roshni land scam: Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah, Haseeb Drabu named in case

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In publicised case of Rs 25,000-crore Roshni land scam, the names of former ministers, bureaucrats, businessmen and their relatives have now been revealed in Roshni scam. Former ministers have taken possession of many Kanal government land not only in their name but also in the name of their relatives. 

Former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah, Former Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, his wife Sehzada Bano, son Eizaj and Iftikhar. 

Similarly, the famous businessman of Kashmir and senior Congress leader KK Amla has given more than 11 kanals of government land in the name of this act.

Apart from this, he included among his close relatives Rachna Amla, one Kanal five marle, Veena Amla one Kanal three Marle, Fakir Chand Amla has one Kanal 11 Marle land in his name.

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The next name in this list is that of Mushtaq Ahmed Chaya. They are named among the prominent hoteliers of Kashmir. He has given 10 Kanal 4 Marle land in his name under this Act.

Former IAS officer Mohammed Shafi Pandit has given 1 Kanal two Marle in his name and one Kanal land in the name of his wife.

Roshni Act was enacted in 2001. When the illegal occupier of government land was deposited with a certain amount, the law was made to give ownership on this land. On the pretext of this law, the big people of Kashmir dished out thousands of crores of land, now the CBI is investigating. The matter is in the High Court.

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According to the information, there are names of about 200 leaders of the three big parties, National Conference, PDP and Congress in the scam. 

The names of many businessmen and bureaucrats have also come out in this scam. 

What is the Roshni Act?

The J&K State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001, commonly known as the Roshni scheme, proposed that the ownership rights of state land could be transferred to illegal encroachers upon the payment of a sum to be determined by the Jammu & Kashmir government. Under the scheme, encroached state lands were legalised by the previous Jammu and Kashmir administrations.

Roshni Act Allegations and Controversies

  1. Investigations into the land transfers subsequently found that land in Gulmarg had been given over to ineligible beneficiaries.
  2. However several government officials illegally possessed and vested ownership of state land to occupants who did not satisfy criteria under the Roshni Act.
  3. A report by the CAG estimated that against the targeted Rs 25,000 crore, only Rs 76 crore had been realized from the transfer of encroached land between 2007 and 2013, thus defeating the purpose of the legislation.
  4. The report blamed irregularities including arbitrary reduction in prices fixed by a standing committee, and said this was done to benefit politicians and affluent people.
  5. In November 2018, the High Court restrained all beneficiaries of the Roshni scheme from selling or carrying out any other transaction in respect of the land transferred to them.