iconimg Monday, August 03, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Jabalpur, October 16, 2013
Adding to the list of troubles of jailed self-styled godman Asaram, the district administration has imposed a fine of Rs. 1.40 crore on the Asaram-owned trust over non-diversion of land on which the ashram is functioning at Chaukital village in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur.

Asaram was arrested in August in Indore for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at his ashram in Jodhour. On Monday, the Gujarat Police took him to Ahmedabad for interrogation in connection with another sexual assault case lodged by two Surat-based sisters against him and his son.

Earlier, the district administration had issued notice to the trust to furnish documents related to diversion of the land from agricultural to other purposes, where construction work could be carried out.

The administration didn’t receive any proper response from the trust, forcing it to initiate action against the ashram.

Sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Rishi Pawar said the administration has been waiting for the town and country planning department for planning status of the area where the ashram is located.

He said a fine of Rs. 1.40 crore is imposed that is 20% of the current market rate of the land as per norms.

Pawar said the administration will take further action against the trust on receiving reply from the town and country planning department.

Meanwhile, the Bhedaghat Nagar Panchayat was in the process of taking action to clear construction from the agricultural land from where the ashram is running.

Bhedaghat Nagar Panchayat chief municipal officer Anita Yadav said the constructions on the agricultural land were done without seeking a no-objection certificate from the Nagar Panchayat.

She said issuance of a no-objection certificate is not possible without diversion of land.