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Roshni Act

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  • Categories
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    11th Dec, 2020


  • The Supreme Court asked the Jammu & Kashmir High Court to hear the review pleas of more than 20 people who claimed to be genuine land-owners hit by a recent HC decision to strike down the Roshni Act.

What is Roshni Act?

  • The Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 is also known as Roshni Act.
  • It was to give ownership to people in possession of state land, with a cut-off of 1990, and against a payment as determined by the government.
  • As the aim was to generate resources for hydroelectric power projects, it was called Roshni (Light) Act.
  • The government gave free ownership rights on agricultural land to farmers occupying it, who only needed to pay Rs 100 per kanal of land as documentation fee.

  1 Kanal = 505.857 Square meter

Why it became controversial?

  • Illegal allocation and transfer of land to private parties
  • Biasedness towards one community
  • Changed the demographic profile
  • Corruption

What did the High Court say?

  • In October 2020, the High Court declared the Roshni Act “illegal, unconstitutional and unsustainable” and held allotments under the Act as void ab initio.
  • It ordered a CBI probe into transfer of ownership, sought action against bureaucrats involved.
  • It asked the government to make public the names of prominent people allotted land.