Alleged construction of Educational Complex on 10 Kanals Forest Land by Ex- Minister

DB directs DC Jammu to produce the Vigilance record and enquiry conducted by Tehsildar Bahu

Jammu December-08-2023-:- In a petition filed and argued by Advocate Ankur Sharma , seeking registration of FIR against Ex-BJP Cabinet Minister Abdul Gani Kohli and others in which petitioner highlighting encroachment of 10 Kanals Forest Land by Ex BJP Minister Abdul Gani Kohli at Nowabad Sunjwan where the said Minister is stated to have raised a huge educational complex comprising of a B.Ed College, ETT College, B.N. Para Medical School, B.N. Public School, ATM and Branch of J&K Bank.


A Division Bench of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court Comprising Chief Justice N Kotishwar Singh and Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi, directed Deputy Commissioner Jammu to produce the Vigilance record and enquiry conducted by Tehsildar Bahu before this Court on the next date of hearing.


When the PIL came-up for hearing, Division Bench observed that petition bearing OWP No. 933/2015 came to be filed alleging encroachments/ grabbing of more than 10 Kanals of Forest land at Nowabad (Sunjwan), District Jammu falling under Khasra No. 356 min by respondent No. 4. The said writ petition came be treated as Public Interest Litigation (PIL) as per the observation made by learned Single Judge on 21.08.2015.


Reply has been filed by respondent No. 5-Deputy Commissioner, Jammu in which it has been mentioned that a preliminary enquiry was conducted by the Vigilance Organization vide No. 04/2015, however, no specific finding was given and it is on the instance of this Court, the Deputy Commissioner Jammu directed the Tehsildar Bahu to personally conduct a demarcation on mission mode by preparing daily log of the proceedings who, accordingly, submitted a report on 30.05.2016 which reveals that one Bee Enn Trust has constructed the College, Paramedical Institution and the ATM on Khasra No. 264 of Village Channi Rama, Tehsil Bahu which is recorded under the ownership and cultivation of the State. The said Bee Enn Trust has no entry in the Revenue records, as the said land continues to be shown under the ownership of the State. However, as per the communication of SVO, it appears that their enquiry has revealed that the said Trust has occupied land in Khasra No. 356 at Village Sunjwan, which is also recorded under the ownership of State, but under the occupation of Forest.

Further Division Bench also noted that in the affidavit filed by Divisional

Commissioner, Jammu on 09.09.2020 it has been mentioned that Bee Enn College, falls under Khasra No. 264 of Village Channi Rama, Tehsil Bahu which is a State land not in Khasra No. 356 of Village Sunjawan Forest land.


Since it has brought to the notice of this Court that a petition has been filed by B. N. Public School being WP(C) No. 249/2023 which is also an institution connected with respondent No. 4. This Court vide order dated 23.08.2023 had directed the Registry to scan the record of the said writ petition and place the same on record. Though the needful has not been done by the Registry. The hard copy of the same has been produced before us and on perusal of the same it is seen that the said writ petition was filed for seeking quashment of circular No. 02-JK (Rev) 2023 dated 09.01.2023 issued by Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh together with the notice No. TB/PS/2022-2923/02 dated 27.01.2023, issued by respondent No. 5 -Tehsildar (Estate Officer), Assistant Collector 1st Class, Bahu Jammu whereby, Abdul Gani Kohli has been asked to vacate state land measuring 16 Kanals falling under Khasra No. 264 (new) (356 old) of Village Channi Rama, Tehsil Bahu. In the said petition, the learned Single Judge vide order dated 10.02.2023 has observed that for the purpose of showing the fact that at the site there is a school, in which a sanction came to be accorded in favour of the B.N. Public School, Nawabad Bathindi upto Class 8th vide Government order No. 730-Edu of 2002 dated 24.04.2002. However, in the said order, there is no reference to the fact that site of the school is on the State land, but it seems that perhaps by using the said Government order it is the state land which came to be grabbed and building has been erected.


The Single Judge though did not find a prima facie case for staying the said order, however, granted interim protection to the effect that while Divisional Commissioner, Jammu was directed to retrieve the possession of the free land falling within the premises of the school except the school building and there shall be no demolition of any part of the school building in retrieving the possession. There shall be no obstruction caused on behalf of the petitioner or for that matter Mr. Abdul Gani Kohli in any manner whatsoever in the course of exercise by the official deputed to take over the possession of the rest of the land except school building. Thus from the above, it appears that while the rest of the land was directed to be retrieved, the school building was directed not to be disturbed.


S.S. Nanda, Sr. AAG submits before this Court that the said land has already been retrieved leaving the school building. We also noted that in the said writ petition the respondents have not filed any affidavit, DB observed.


Considering the fact that the present PIL has arisen out of writ petition bearing WP (C) No. 933/2015 which was converted to a PIL and the land in issue appears to be the same which is alleged to be a State land grabbed by certain persons unauthorizedly. DB direct the Registry to tag the record of WP(C) No. 249/2023 along with the present PIL inasmuch as, the land, which is alleged to have been grabbed, appears to be same in this writ petition also. Accordingly, we issue direction to respondents in WP(C) No. 249/2023 to file their affidavits without fail and also directed Deputy Commissioner Jammu to produce the Vigilance record and enquiry conducted by Tehsildar Bahu before this Court on the next date of hearing. JNF