It has been three years since the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was thrown out of power from Jammu and Kashmir. However, PDP’s president Mehbooba Mufti has woken up from her slumber after three years, to pursue legal action against Satya Pal Malik (the current governor of Meghalaya), for his alleged ‘defamatory statements’.
Mufti sues Satya Pal Malik after three years
Mehbooba Mufti, on Friday, issued a legal notice to former Jammu and Kashmir governor and the current Meghalaya governor Satya Pal Malik, as the latter had allegedly accused Mufti of being a beneficiary of state land under the Roshni Act of 2001, which however, was scrapped last year following an order from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
A video widely circulating through the social media shows Malik explaining, “The Roshni Act, originally called the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership Rights to the Occupants) Act, 2001, was introduced by the Farooq Abdullah government promising that the funds accrued giving ownership rights to the unauthorised occupants of state land will be used to improve the electricity situation in the erstwhile state.”
He further added, “The electricity situation did not improve but plots were given to Farooq Abdullah, his son and Mehbooba… I cancelled the allotments and constituted an inquiry.”
The legal notice issued by the PDP party president states that the allegation was not only incorrect, but also defamatory in nature with the “sole objective of tarnishing her otherwise politically neat and clean image.” In addition to that, the Meghalaya governor will also have to pay Rs. 10 crore within 30 days of the receipt of the legal notice.
Mufti, earlier this week, had warned Malik to either withdraw the comments or be prepared to get sued. She had also claimed that said that the “false” and “unsavoury” statements of Malik were highly mischievous.
Mufti had tweeted, “False & unsavoury utterances of Satya Pal Malik about me being a beneficiary of Roshni Act is highly mischievous. My legal team is preparing to sue him. He has the option to withdraw his comments failing which I will pursue legal recourse.”
False & unsavoury utterances of Satya Pal Malik about me being a beneficiary of Roshni Act is highly mischievous.
My legal team is preparing to sue him.
He has the option to withdraw his comments failing which I will pursue legal recourse. pic.twitter.com/QVSOEFLGYp
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) October 20, 2021
Roshni Act, 2001
The Roshni Act 2001 or the Jammu and Kashmir State Land Act, 2001, was passed by the then Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) government led by Farooq Abdullah. The act aims at providing ownership to people possessing state land, with a cut-off of 1990, and against a payment as determined by the government. It is pertinent to note that it was called Roshni (Light) Act, as it aimed at generating resources for hydroelectric power projects.
In 2005, an amendment was made to relax the cut-off year from 1990 to 2004, by the PDP-Congress coalition government led by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Another amendment was made in 2007 to set the premium at 25% of the market rate and the cut-off date at 2007. However, following an order by the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, the administration had scrapped the act and stepped in with the decision to reclaim land transferred under the Roshni scheme.
In a bid to attain media spotlight, Mehbooba Mufti is digging her past to cook up fresh controversies. Bereft of any issues to run a propaganda and grab some eyeballs ahead of assembly elections in the valley, Mehbooba Mufti, is trying to make a mountain out of a molehill by targeting Satya Pal Malik. By digging her own past to create controversies, she will fall into her own pit, as the whole development is going to reflect badly on her political career.