Suspecting Haryana Vigilance Bureau (VB) of trying to shield former IAS officers in a case pertaining to transfer of huge chunk of village common land (shamlat deh) to a private company in Faridabad district, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed VB to conclude the probe by April end else it would be constrained to handover probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The names of Promilla Issar, sitting administrative member, central administrative tribunal, Chandigarh bench and former Haryana chief secretary; former bureaucrats KC Sharma, sitting vice chairman, Haryana Kala Parishad and KS Bhoria, sitting chairman, Haryana Sales Tax Tribunal are also under the scanner.
Issar while holding a revenue court in her capacity as Financial Commissioner had on January 30, 2003 allowed the revision petition filed by Crystal Biotech Industries and had directed to carry out mutation of 209 acres 16 marla ‘shamlat land’ of Atwa village in Palwal in name of the company. However, Sharma and Bhoria are alleged to have directed the concerned revenue officials of carrying out mutation of land, between 2006 to 2009, in favour of the company.
The Delhi based company had purchased the land between December 1995 and January 1996 through 25 registered sale deeds and had planted Poplar trees, Masoor (pulse) and started preparing seeds on the land.
After hearing the arguments in the case last week, the division bench comprising justice Rajive Bhalla and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain said, “The investigating agency appears to be dragging its feet.” The bench further added, “It is made clear to the vigilance bureau, Haryana that in case enquiry is not concluded before the next date of hearing, this court may be constrained to handover the matter to the CBI, as we are, prima facie satisfied that an attempt is being made to shield certain influential officers.”
Adjourning the case for last week of April, the bench directed the state vigilance bureau investigating the case for the past around one year to place the status report in a sealed cover.
Issar, while passing the impugned order of January 30, 2003 had set aside the various orders passed by the commissioner, Gurgaon division dated January 17, 2001; district collector, Faridabad dated February 22, 2001 and assistant collector, Faridabad dated May 31, 2000 in which these officers had rejected the mutations in favour of the company and had sanctioned the same in favour of the gram panchayat.
However, later the state financial commissioner revenue Surina Rajan on Februray 2, 2011, while deciding a review petition filed by the gram panchayat, Atwa and after finding a patent error had set aside the orders dated January 30, 2003 passed by her predecessor, Issar. The order said that as per the revenue records, the land in question had been described as pasture(charand) and had been reserved for other common purposes.
During hearing of the case, deputy commissioner Faridabad had informed the high court that now a title suit had been filed before the competent revenue court for cancellation of registration of land in name of the company.
Former bureaucrats under scanner include:
1. Promilla Issar, former Haryana chief secretary and sitting administrative member, central administrative tribunal, Chandigarh bench
2. KC Sharma, sitting vice chairman, Haryana Kala Parishad
3. KS Bhoria, sitting chairman, Haryana Sales Tax Tribunal