The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe a case in which the Punjab government has been accused of acquiring 247 acres of land at an inflated price for a solid waste dumping yard in a month.
The directions came on a petition filed by the residents of Mandi Khurd village of Bathinda district, who have accused the state government of "favouring politically influential" persons.
The division bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa also directed Chandigarh deputy inspector general (DIG) (CBI branch) Mahesh Aggarwal to conduct the inquiry in a month and ordered that status quo of the land would be maintained.
The petitioners had submitted that the beneficiaries jointly purchased land in Rampura Phul, around 33 kms away from Bathinda town, for about Rs 1.59 crore in February 2010. But, soon after, the state government acquired the land for Rs 7 crore.
Ludhiana resident Khushdev Singh, his wife Kamaljeet Kaur and brother Himmat Singh; Muktsar residents Kanwar Pal Singh, his wife Kirandeep Kaur and one Balvinder Singh; Ludhiana resident Yadvinder Singh, wife Jasdeep and relative Surjeet Kaur had purchased 247 acres and 6 marla land on the Bathinda-Mansa road in Rampura Phul.
It has been alleged that though there were three other suitable sites for the purpose, the municipal corporation deliberately chose to acquire the land they bought and showed favoritism to the beneficiaries.
The petitioners had also submitted that the beneficiaries, who, they said, are close to senior political leaders of the ruling party, knew that the government was about to acquire the land and thus purchased it for seeking benefit out of that in a short span of time. The case will now come up for hearing on September 12.