In controversial distribution of land compensation worth over `300 crore to private individuals for the acquisition of shamlat land in Panchkula district, a letter from the office of the Panchkula DC to land acquisition officer confirming distribution of shares of the shamlat land in the Saketri village has been found ‘fake’.
The letter, alleged to be written in 2008, is a part of the file, and was the only document that pointed towards involvement of the DC office.
A senior official of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has confirmed that the letter was found fake since the DC office had no record of it.
The shamlat land was acquired by HUDA, which had distributed the compensation worth over `300 crore. A compensation worth `5.91 crore was issued to Saketri village on May 25 this year.
Meanwhile, Haryana town and country planning department additional chief secretary P Raghavendra Rao confirmed to HT that the file had been put before the chief minister for appropriate action.
The HUDA administrator, Panchkula, Sanjiv Verma, has alleged a scam of around `346 crore in respect of payment of compensation amount of the acquired shamlat land to individuals without any order of the collector, under the Village Common Land Act, from 1998 to 2013.
These villages include Nada, Maheshpur, Chowki, Saketri, Rampur Siyudi, Rajjipur, Surajpur, Manakpur, Nanakchand, Manakpur Thakurdas, Lohgarh, Dhamala, Firojpur, Rattpur, Islamnagar, Bhagwanpur, Nangal Sodian.
It has also been found that various erstwhile land acquisition officers (LAOs) and tehsildars of Kalka and Panchkula tehsils distributed the shamlat land among claimants in a couple of days. Otherwise, the process of deciding shares of individuals on a shamlat land takes time as the shareholders need to be issued notices, and record of consolidation of village has to be taken into account.
Section 13A of the Punjab village Common Land Act states that only the collector is competent to adjudicate the claim in a suit filed before him pertaining to right or title of a shamlat land.