[Roshni Land] Supreme Court refuses to grant stay on demolition drive against encroachment; orally asks authorities not to demolish houses

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The bench was informed that a lot of tribals are living on Roshni and Kahcharai lands.

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant stay on the encroachment demolition drive initiated by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory on Roshni and Kahcharai land owned by the UT.

A bench of Justice MR Shah and CT Ravikumar, however, orally asked the authorities not to demolish any houses.

The counsel appearing for the Union Territory raised questions on the locus standi of the applicants before the court who had sought stay on the demolition drive.

The observation came after the counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted that a lot of tribals are living on those lands. He informed the bench that the UT government's Special Leave Petition is also pending before the Supreme Court and they have not been made a party in the matter.

Whereas, the counsel appearing for the Union Territory informed the bench that the application has been served to them a day before. It had also been submitted that the application didn't mention that the applicants live there and as to what is their locus standi.

However, Justice Shah said, "We are not passing any order. You instruct them orally to not demolish any houses. But we will not grant a general stay at all so that others do not get benefit."

The removal of the encroachments from the Roshni and Kahcharai property was notified by the J&K administration by January 31.

Case Title: Abdul Rashid vs SK Bhalla