The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to probe a “massive scam” in the sale and purchase of large number of plots in Dwarka after a public interest litigation (PIL) claimed that it had caused the exchequer a loss of R500 crore.
The court took serious note of the allegation that the irregularities alleged in the PIL could not have been possible without active connivance of DDA officials and the land mafia.
According to the PIL, the land mafia had in 2011 illegally bought 400 residential plots from farmers. The farmers had been allotted these alternative plots on a concessional rate after their land was acquired for planned development of the Capital.
“The land had been given to the farmers on perpetual lease and these could not have been sold or bought without the consent of the DDA and without paying the DDA the unearned increase in value of the said plots. DDA officials remained a silent spectator when all this was happening,” petitioner Rajesh Kumar alleged before a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and justice VK Jain.
The court ordered a thorough probe into the allegations. “The petition is disposed of with a direction to the vice chairman, DDA, to expeditiously inquire into it,” the court said.
“The extensive scam not only caused a great depletion to the public exchequer to the tune of R500 crore but also resulted in defeating the entire purpose of the scheme of allotment of alternative plots,” the PIL said.
The DDA had allotted these alternative plots in sector 23 and 23 B in the Dwarka residential scheme phase II on the recommendations of the land and building department by holding a draw of lots on February 5, 2010. It was given on a perpetual lease-hold basis at predetermined rates of R18,810 per square metres.
The petitioner said he got to know about the illegal sale from the villagers.
“Construction activities have already been carried out by various property dealers on these plots and builders have put up sign boards on most plots where construction has begun,” said the PIL.