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Senior IAS officer arrested in Gulmarg land scam case

September 23, 2013 13:43 IST

Senior IAS officer Baseer Ahmad Khan was on Monday arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Organisation for allegedly misusing his official position for illegal transfer of government land in Gulmarg worth crores of rupees.

"Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar district, Baseer Ahmad Khan today reported at police station, Vigilance, where his arrest was effected in connection with the Gulmarg land scam case," a senior SVO officer told PTI.

Khan was produced before the court of Special Judge, Anti-corruption, here and the charge sheet against him was presented, the officer said.

The court released the IAS officer on bail and allowed him to report back to duty at Kishtwar, he said.

The officer said the SVO received sanction from the Centre for prosecution of Khan on Friday.

Khan, who was Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar till March, was removed on the orders of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court which is hearing a public interest litigation in Gulmarg land scam case.

Five other accused officers, who have retired from service, have already been charge sheeted in the case. Among the accused is then Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Mehboob Iqbal, who has since joined PDP.

The SVO had registered a case against senior officials of the government in 2009 for allegedly misusing official position for illegal transfer of government land in Gulmarg worth crores of rupees by misusing provisions of the J&KStateLand, (Vesting of Ownership Rights to the Occupants) Act, 2001, also known as Roshni Act.

The SVO said the accused public servant and other officials, by abuse of their official position under a conspired plan, dishonestly in gross-violation of law/rules, processed and vested the ownership of the leased land to beneficiaries in Gulmarg estate, meant for construction of hutments, under master plan of GDA, to confer undue benefit upon the beneficiary applicants, occupants and themselves.

The SVO pleaded that the land had been transferred to the accused in a place where Roshni Act was not applicable.

According to the provisions of the J&KStateLand, (Vesting of Ownership Rights to the Occupants) Act, 2001, also known as Roshni Act, any occupant of government land shall apply to the territorial tehsildar for having such land vested or transferred to him under the provisions of the Act.

Under the Act, the concerned tehsildar after holding an inquiry and verifying the contents of application, would send a report to district collector of the area with his recommendations.

The district collector would subsequently make further inquiry and forward the application along with his report to the committee, which is required to pass appropriate order for disposal of land and also determine the price to be deposited by the applicant (occupant) for vesting of such state land.

The SVO said the provisions of the Act, shall however, not apply to such land as is earmarked for a specific purpose in any master plan.

It said Gulmarg had Master plan in 1960s and the transfer of land in the area was illegal.

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