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In the much publicized Public Interest Litigation (PIL) highlighting land grabbing and encroachment of more than 20 lacs kanal of State Land by politicians, bureaucrats and police officers in league with land mafia, a Division Bench (DB) of the State High Court, Jammu Wing,  comprising Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice B.S Walia today expressed displeasure over the infighting between the JDA, Revenue and Police in the ongoing demarcation exercise of more than 66,000 Kanals of JDA land in Jammu/Samba districts.

The Deputy Advocate General Ehsan Mirza  appearing for Revenue/ Police after being pulled up by the DB undertook to comply with the directions of DB by providing the requisite manpower from the Revenue Department and also to provide protection on permanent basis to the officers of JDA. 

The DB also directed advocate Adarsh Sharma appearing for JDA and Deputy AG Ehsan Mirza appearing for Revenue/Police Departments to file within 3 weeks the updated status report of the ongoing demarcation of JDA land in the twin districts of Jammu/Samba.

Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with advocates Rahul Raina and Supriya Chouhan appearing for the PIL submitted that land mafia is causing obstruction in the ongoing demarcation drive and there is every apprehension of law and order problem.

Advocate Ahmed specifically invited the attention of the DB towards order dated December, 10, 2014 passed by a Division Bench of the State High Court then headed by Chief Justice MM Kumar (Since retired) wherein the Division Bench had directed for videography of the entire demarcation exercise of JDA Land in Jammu/Samba. 

Advocate Ahmed further submitted that the demarcation so far carried out has not been videographed, and in view of the resistance offered by the Land mafia, the directions are required to be issued to comply with the order dated December, 10, 2014 so that the left over demarcation exercise is videographed. 

When this PIL came up for hearing, Advocate Adarsh Sharma appearing for JDA produced the fresh status report in the open court wherein it was divulged that the JDA took up the matter with the Deputy Commissioners Jammu/Samba and also communicated the details of the Khasra Nos wherein the Revenue record was awaited despite identification/demarcation of JDA Land. 

The status report says that the JDA issued the demarcation schedule and requested for the requirement of Revenue staff. The revenue staff reported for the demarcation, but the schedule was not strictly adhered to resulting into very slow progress. 

The progress was very slow for the reason that the revenue staff did not report regularly as per the schedule                             fixed.

Advocate Adarsh Sharma also invited the attention of the DB towards the indifferent attitude of Police Authorities and referred to letter No. VC/PS/2017/837/41 dated 29.08.2017 whereby IGP Jammu was requested for providing police protection on permanent basis. 

Advocate Sharma further submitted that IGP Jammu vide letter no. Conf/3523/25 dated 07.09.2017 expressed his inability to provide police on the permanent basis owing to the shortage of manpower and multifarious duties. 

The JDA’s status report further divulged that since revenue staff and the territorial police generally remain occupied with the multifarious duties, the dedicated staff is required by the JDA to accomplish the exercise of identification, demarcation and retrieval of thousands of Kanal of JDA land. 

After considering the rival contentions from both the sides, the DB while expressing its displeasure over the divergent stances taken by JDA, Revenue and Police, directed the videography of the entire demarcation exercise and also directed Revenue and JDA to file updated status report within three weeks. JNF