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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Minister's wife threatened me, claims RTI activist

Tarun Upadhyay, Hindustan Times  Jammu, November 09, 2012
First Published: 20:40 IST(9/11/2012) | Last Updated: 20:42 IST(9/11/2012)

A Right to Information (RTI) activist has filed application before the police against the wife of revenue minister claiming that she threatened him against pursuing a case involving her husband in multi-crore land transfer case.

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Prof SK Bhalla had filed an application in the high court seeking directions of the court to the vigilance commissioner to produce demi-official statement written by the revenue minister Raman Bhalla asking to close the case against himself in Gulmarg land deal.
 
The letter was produced in the court by the Vigilance Organisation. The court had said since it was produced in the open court, it sees no reason to consider it as a privilege document and directeded Vigilance Organistion to provide copy of it to the applicant.
 
“On November 6 an unknown person came to our home and started enquiring about me from my wife and forced her to talk to Indira Bhalla, wife of Raman Bhalla, on his mobile phone. She even repeatedly called on our landline number and on November 7 called from her mobile and made some remarks after which I dropped the phone,” said SK Bhalla.
 
SK Bhalla had complained that his family is being harassed by the wife of revenue minister who is exerting pressure on him to stop pursuing case.
 
SK Bhalla along with Sheikh Mohammad Shafi son of Sheikh Abdul Rehman (Ex MP) had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking  prosecution of Senior IAS, IFS, IPS and KAS officers and politicians in corruption cases.
 
Raman Bhalla in a letter to the Vigilance Commissioner dated Oct 12, 2009, had written: “To ensure that the Act (Roshni Act) is implemented and benefits granted to the common people.. it’s reiterated here that the land in question falling under Gulmarg Tourism Development Authority comes under the purview of the Roshni Act and therefore, the case FIR may be closed so that the work under the said Act is taken up by the authorities.”
 
The Act enacted in 2001, provides for vesting ownership rights to occupant of state land to generate finances for the State. However Act also says that state land can be vested to the occupants if its held by the Government department or authority.

The land transferred in Gulmarg falls under the Tourism Development Authority.
 
The minister in his letter said the areas under Authority comes under Roshni Act.
 
The Vigilance Organisation had produced challan against the nine-officials including the then divisional commissioner Kashmir Mehboob Iqbal and now deputy commissioner Sringar in the case of allotment of land in Gulmarg to nine hoteliers.
 
The  in its challan had said that officials manipulated the record in conferring the ownership rights on 35 Kanals and six marlas of the prime state land at Gulmarg in favour of nine accused beneficiaries in contravention to the provisions of the J&K State Land (vesting of ownership rights to the occupants) Act 2001.
 
The Vigilance Organisation had field the FIR in this case in February 2009 alleging that allotment of land was in contravention of Roshni Act. The hoteliers had then filed a petition in the HC for quashing the FIR. The petition was dismissed by the Court in April 2009.
 
The DO letter was written by minister in Oct 2009.

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