Adv Zulkarnain Choudhary says, “Right to life with dignity is a fundamental right” explicitly explaining the faults of the land deadline.
In a detailed interview with News Insider, Mohd. Zulkarnain Chowdhary, Advocate from Jammu and Kashmir High Court explains in detail the faulty lines in the Jammy and Kashmir’s government’s deadline of three months for the removal of encroachments from the State land across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Fault Lines of the Government’s Order
1. Welfare state
Advocate Zulkarnain Choudhary explains to media News Insider that Jammu and Kashmir are declared welfare states, which basically means the state belongs to the public. If a state is for the public, the public’s opinions and desires have to be taken into consideration first and fundamental rights become a priority.
2. Why did the people build on government property?
He said, “Secondly, why did the people buy land and build houses on government property? What was the lack in Jammu and Kashmir that they had to take government property to build their houses? Something happened that made them “take government land”. The truth is all these people purchased land from authorities who also sold them the land through legal procedures, so why was the government sleeping when all the legal proceedings of land were going on? In the end, who has to take the onus for this deal, the people or the government? The people will only buy land which is shown to them. Who metered out all the legal documents to the people?
3. The Jammu Development Authority failed in providing housing for people
While the government promises to house everyone, the Jammu development authority failed in providing housing for people. This taking over their housing is only revealing the failure of the government and the failure of the Jammu and Kashmir housing authorities. JDA ka failure it is showing. J&K housing negligence also.
4. The right to life, with dignity, is a fundamental right
It is evident that no one encroached on the land. It was bought from someone who got hold of the land through legal procedures. Now, suddenly, the govt cannot throw them out. The right to life, with dignity, is a fundamental right. you just can’t throw them on the roads. Advocate Zulkarnain said that last year in 2021, there was a demolition drive that broke down Kashmiris’ homes. The poor people approached the courts. After that, the J&K High Court stayed the procedure because the government did not follow the normal procedure of law, which is to first inform the people and provide provisions before breaking down their homes.
It is not understood what is the motive of this, to throw out all the people, but if it seems a good move, it has to follow the procedure of law. If one has to remove illegal occupants, they have to get a prior notice.
5. Most people are living on these lands for generations or hundreds of years, LB-6 432 land rights are still in existence
Also, it has to be taken into account that most people are living on those lands for generations or hundreds of years.
Advocate Zulkarnain Choudhary said also that if one looks back at 1954, those in possession of land, whether it was got by mistake or illegally, a provision was made by which in 1957 and 1958, the people living in the land over those times will get their rights of that land subject to certain conditions such as their revenue record should be named. Now suppose a person has their revenue record but the government of today decides not to validate that, it will not be regarded because LB-6 432 land rights are still in existence.
If a person does not retrive those benefits such as the LB-6 432 for themselves they are unaware of their rights, it does not mean the government can throw them on the streets. If a person legally or illegally made a house on the land and the state is recognized legally as a welfare state, housing naturally becomes a human right. If the government did not provide housing to every citizen as is their duty, they failed in their responsibilities so they cannot steal away their homes or break them down now.
6. The Jammu and Kashmir government over 10 years govt regularized 18 colonies
Advocate Zulkarnain pointed out that the J&K government over ten years regularized 18 colonies. So why cannot the govt also regularize the other so-called “illegal “colonies also? It was in the government’s power to do so if it so chooses.
7. The Roshni Act allows the transfer ownership of state land to its occupants for a fee
Advocate Zulkarnain brought out the merits of the Roshni Act. What is Roshni Act: It is a law, which had proposed to transfer ownership of state land to its occupants for a fee determined by the government, was popularly known as the Roshni Act, as the proceeds from these transactions were to fund power projects in Jammu and Kashmir
Further expounding on the act he said, the Roshni Act enable land, money, and allotment exchanges which were inclusive of government property. It eased up the people a lot. Ultimately, the Roshni Act was challenged before the honorable Jammu and Kashmir High Court which declared the Act null and void.
Disturbed, the people went to the Supreme Court to challenge this judgment. Meantime, the government instead went to the high court to reestablish its order over the land, saying they would review the policy. This matter is still rolling before the courts. After this, the Supreme Court stated that they would allow the High Court to decide on the review petition that the people had to make. It is said that there are around 20,000 lakh properties the government is claiming from the people.
8. Who is the government building colleges, universities, and industrial complexes for?
The Jammu and Kashmir Government is proclaiming they will make big projects on the land, colleges, industrial complexes universities, and hospitals, but the question rises, does not the government in order to retrieve its land not have other state lands? Why is it that the government is taking land only from the people?
Advocate Zulkarnain goes on the question, “So who does the government want to build colleges for? Who does the government want to make universities for? Who does the government want to make hospitals for? who does the government want to make industrial complexes for? It is for the public, so firstly, the government has to first give the people their first right to live decently. First, give them the right to their own residence. Then after that, provide the other facilities.
9. The bad fate of Jammu and Kashmir is that they do not have a popular government
He said that it is the bad fate of Jammu and Kashmir that they do not have a popular government. Everyone knows it is run by Governor’s rule. No one is there to listen to their voices, so the government is presently doing whatever is in its mind without thinking of the people. No one is there to listen to their situations, problems, and difficulties.
10. Jammu – Smart City, City of Temples is now the City of Protests that Police are Harassing
The truth is this Jammu they are calling Smart City, City of Temples, is the same place where the police are chasing our children and sisters and beating them up. At the same time, they are calling it a Welfare State. The people are protesting peacefully as is their fundamental right but the police started attacking them and pushing the girls. How can we advance if this behavior keeps going on?
11. There are two laws in J&K, one for the rich, the other for the poor
At this point, the news anchor at News Insider pointed out that is mainly the poor people’s homes getting torn down to which the advocate replied, “This is why I say there are two laws in Jammu and Kashmir, one for the rich, the other is for the poor. The poor who have no one to speak for them are being harassed by the government while the government bows before the rich and influential.
12. The Jammu and Kashmir government is trying to divert issues in a spin for dictatorship
Advocate Zulkarnain Choudhary concluded that the Jammu and Kashmir government is trying to divert issues because the people are very troubled here. He said that today, what we used to call Jammu the City of Temples has now become the City of Protest.
The reality is the government does not have a revenue record and this is believed to be lost. The people who give money, mutations will be attested, those who do not have money will be harassed, and their mutations are not attested and they keep running helter-skelter throughout the day to get their legal work done.
Ending on a sober chilling note he said, “By diverting issues, the people will stop questioning the government and this is how dictatorship will continue in Jammu and Kashmir.”
See the link to the conversation on Facebook