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C treats land acquisition for Pahalgam Golf course as PIL.

Treating manipulation of records for giving compensation to people who were not entitled to it against land acquisition for extension of Pahalgam Golf Course as Public Interest Litigation, the High Court on Wednesday directed Chief Secretary to respond to the plea by July 23.

A division bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey and Justice and Justice D S Thakur issued notice to the Chief Secretary seeking his response over the queries raised by it.

The Court asked the government as to why the matter should not be referred to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for probe to bring to justice the erring Government functionaries and beneficiaries in the matter involving huge exchequer.

“What action should be taken against the erring Government functionaries/officers, including the concerned revenue officers who remained posted in Anantnag and had an occasion to deal with the matter,” the court asked.

The Court wanted to know about present status of the criminal case that was filed by Crime Branch before the Court. “Further course of action would be decided as and when such response and report is filed by the Chief Secretary. We order accordingly…,” the bench said.

Referring to the violation of Court directions in a judgment issued in 2014, the court observed that the concerned functionaries did not take any remedial measures against the award with regard to land acquisition and, instead, waited for two months allowed by this Court in that regard to elapse.

“Thereafter, it appears, the Collector made certain References under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act. Two of these References have come to the notice of the undersigned, mention whereof would be made latter. It would first be appropriate to mention what was the matter and what had transpired during the hearing of the aforesaid seven writ petitions” court said.

The court said it wanted to know as to who was or were the competent authority/authorities to take the follow up action and implement the common judgment of the Court of 2014 in seven related writ petitions. The court also wanted to know the course of action taken by the government to retrieve the Government money disbursed to persons not entitled to it whether under the orders of the civil court or otherwise.

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