STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: The State High Court on Thursday quashed FIR registered by State Vigilance Organisation (SVO)) against SSP Mubassir Latifi with the observations that the petitioner could not be dragged under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act in a case of alleged land procurement through fraudulent means, which is predominantly civil in nature.
Justice M.K Hanjura further observed that SVO has violated with impunity and has given a complete go by to the rules in the instant case.
Justice M.K Hanjura after hearing Senior Advocate Sunil Sethi with Advocate Ravi Abrol for the petitioner whereas Deputy AG Raman Sharma for the SVO, observed that from a bare glimpse of the documents it becomes clear that the ownership rights with respect to the land are vested in favour of the petitioner under the aforesaid Act and the procedure provided thereunder.
“The petitioner fulfilled the condition for the grant of ownership right whereafter the Committee approved his case after the determination of the price that had to be paid for the same. Assuming it for the sake of arguments but not conceding that the orders of the Committee or that of the District Collector or the Tehsildar, Jammu, were not in consonance with the provisions of the Act, the proper course to be adopted by the State was to challenge their validity before the competent authority and to afford the petitioner an opportunity of being heard in concinnity with the principles of natural justice”, the court observed.
Senior Advocate Sunil Sethi submitted that the action of SVO on the grounds, inter-alia, that the impugned FIR has been registered without following the due procedure established by law, as the SSP SVO without verifying the authenticity or genuineness of the allegations, as alleged in the impugned FIR, straightway registered the FIR and even these allegations do not constitute any offence punishable under Section 5(1)(d) read with 5(2) of the J&K Prevention of Corruption Act, Samvat 2006.
It has further been pleaded that the ingredients of Section 5(2) of the J&K Prevention of Corruption Act are not made out in the case and the impugned FIR is being used as a tool of harassing and victimizing the petitioner notwithstanding the fact that the petitioner is not involved in any offence punishable under the aforesaid Sections.
It has been further averred that SSP SVO, by succumbing to the pressure wielded by certain vested interests, has registered the impugned FIR which is an abuse of the process of law. It has also been stated that as per the information of the petitioner the impugned FIR has been registered on the basis of some anonymous/pseudonymous complaint.
Justice MK Hanjura observed that looking at the Office Memorandum (OM) No.Rev/S/310/2015 dated January 29, 2016, on the subject, “Verification No.38/2014 regarding probe into the illegal land transactions in Sunjwan/ Channi Himmat” issued by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Revenue Department, addressed to the Principal Secretary to Government, Home Department, has an important bearing on the instant case and it is reproduced verbatim et-literatim, “The undersigned is directed to refer Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department to his OM No.Home/Land/107/2015/ 6001 dated October 23, 2015 regarding the above mentioned subject and to say that Mubassir Latifi Ameer has not been found to have encroached the State Land, as indicated by Regional Director, Survey and Land Records Jammu in his letter August 18, 2015, because he has been vested with ownership rights under the substantive provisions of the J&K State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 and the rules there-under. As regards the status of other occupants mentioned in the aforesaid report of Regional Director, Survey and Land Records, Jammu, the matter is being looked into by the Department for appropriate action under law.
With these observations Justice M K Hanjura allowed the petition as a consequence of which FIR 8 of 2016 dated March 9, 2016 registered by SSP, SVO, Jammu, against the petitioner for the commission of an offence under Section 5(1)(d) read with Section 5(2) of the J&K Prevention of Corruption Act Samvat, 2006 and 120-B of the RPC, is quashed including the proceedings being conducted in the aforesaid FIR as against the petitioner
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