Kashmir Indepth

Mehbooba demands Rs 10 cr compensation from ex-Guv Satyapal Malik


Srinagar, Oct 22 ( KINS): Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Friday served a legal notice to Satyapal Malik, the governor of the erstwhile state, for claiming Mufti was the beneficiary of the Roshni scheme.

Malik is presently the Governor of Meghalaya. On Wednesday, Mufti threatened legal action against Malik for his comments that she was a beneficiary of the Roshni Act. The law granted ownership of Jammu and Kashmir state land to outsiders with the aim of raising money for power projects upon payment of a sum determined by the erstwhile state government.

In the notice to Malik, Mufti’s lawyer referred to a video clip showing the former J&K governor making allegations against the PDP chief and other politicians.

“A video clip has been circulated in media where you, while being escorted by the officials of Raj Bhawan of Meghalaya, are shown as holding a press conference. While recounting your days as Governor in erstwhile state of J&K, at 0.23 seconds of the said video clip, you have alleged that my client took benefit of the State land under The J&K State Land (vesting ownership to the occupants) Act, 2001 is popularly known as the Roshi Act and that on verification you found the above allegation to be correct,” the notice read.

The notice said that these allegations are false.

“By conducting yourself as an Ex Governor of J&K state and making utterances about the benefit being taken by my client under Roshni Act, which are not only false and incorrect, you have defamed by client and leveled scandalous and serious allegations against her with sole objective if tarnishing her otherwise politically neat and clean image,” it added.

“Although no amount can compensate my client for the loss of reputation and good name which has been caused by your aforesaid conduct, yet my client has decided to sue you for claiming compensation / damages for loss of reputation and good name earned by her and for establishing that the allegations leveled you are incorrect and false and have been leveled at a junction which hints at political collusion behind, the speech made by you,” the notice added.

“By virtue of legal notice, I therefore, call upon you to pay compensatory damage to my client to the extent of Rs 10 crore within 30 days of receipt of this legal notice,” it read.

The notice added that the amount of compensation is not supposed to be utilised by her client for her personal gains but shall be donated or utlised for public good.

The Roshi Act was brought by the then National Conference government led by Farooq Abdullah to give ownership to people in possession of state land, with a cut-off of 1990, in lieu of charges. The scheme turned out controversial after many allegations of corruption surfaced.

In October 2018, then Governor Satya Pal Malik repealed the Roshni Act prospectively. ( KINS)

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