SC refuses to stay J&K govt’s order on land encroachment

22 January, 2023 | Pragati Singh

mumbai National

A bench of Justices M R Shah and C T Ravikumar exhibited reluctance to issue a decision today.

The Jammu and Kashmir government’s circular ordering all deputy commissioners to remove encroachments on state land, including Roshni Land and Kachharie Land by January 31, 2023, was rejected by the Supreme Court on Friday.

A bench of Justices M R Shah and C T Ravikumar exhibited reluctance to issue a decision today.

However, the bench gave an oral comment, requesting that no dwellings be demolished.

“We are not passing any order today. You instruct them orally not to demolish any houses. But we will not grant a general stay… others should not get benefit,” the bench orally told the counsel of J&K.

As the case came up for hearing, the counsel for the petitioner took the court through the reliefs prayed for.

In response to the counsel for the petitioner that many tribals were residing on the land, Justice Shah remarked: “If stay is granted then it will also benefit the land grabbers.”

The counsel for J&K explained that the circular is primarily concerned with the Roshni land.

He also questioned the locus of the applicants.

“The application was served on me yesterday. It does not even mention that the applicants live there,” he pointed out while adding that the land only had shops and such establishments.

The court then adjourned the matter.

Earlier this week, the subject was brought before Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud.

On January 9, the J&K government asked all Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to remove encroachment on such land by January 31, 2023.

Residents were urged to either dismantle the buildings themselves or suffer the costs of destruction.

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