Chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) treasurer NK Sharma on Monday accused Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa, his brother Fateh Jang Singh Bajwa and party spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira of usurping the shamlat and government land in connivance with the revenue officials during the Congress government.
Sharma came up with the allegations against the Congress leaders at a press conference after Khaira recently accused the CPS of raising two mega housing projects (Savitry Green 1 and Savitry Green 2) at Bishanpura and Ghazipur villages in Zirakpur illegally without procuring the mandatory environment clearance from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA).
Khaira had also alleged that the housing project of Sharma at Ghazipur had come up on a land where the Punjab and Haryana high court had stayed the division of land in 2010, a charge the CPS denied.
Sharma said he had written to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for initiating a probe on the allegations levelled against him by Khaira. "In case the allegations are proved right, I would not only quit the CPS post but also politics," Sharma said.
He said he had also sent a legal notice to Khaira on the allegations levelled against him. "I will give him a week's time, and in case he is not able to prove these, I would file a Rs 100 crore defamation suit against him for causing damage to my housing business," Sharma said.
Asked if the special tribunal appointed by the Punjab and Haryana high court under Justice Kuldip Singh (retd) should probe the allegations levelled by him against the Congress leaders as well as by Khaira against him, Sharma said he had not yet read the interim reports of the tribunal but was ready for any investigation.
Sharma did not give a satisfactory reply when asked as to why he had come up with the allegations against the Congress leaders only after Khaira alleged illegality in his housing projects and being in the government why did he not get the issue investigated.
Sharma alleged that Khaira had usurped the central government land. "On the whole, these Congress leaders bought nearly 100 acres of shamlat land. The Congress leaders would first arrange for the power of attorney for the shamlat land and would then buy it," said Sharma, revealing the alleged modus operandi.
As soon as Sharma finished the press conference, Khaira held another one to reiterate his allegations against the CPS.
"I am not scared of the defamation suit. Let him file a Rs 500 crore suit. I will still take the matter to the high court to take the issue to its logical conclusion," he added.
"At Ghazipur, financial commissioner revenue Romila Dubey had allowed the division of land, a decision which was challenged in the high court. Justice Rajive Bhalla on April 19, 2010, had granted stay on the division of land on which Sharma had built his housing project, Savitry Greens 2. Hence it is completely illegal," Khaira alleged, the charge Sharma denied, saying the court had stayed only the dispossession of the petitioners and not stopped the division of land.
Khaira also alleged that Sharma had not procured the mandatory environment clearance from the SEIAA, that was why the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), in its communique on October 1, decided to initiate criminal proceedings against him. In the same communique, the PPCB chairman also mentioned how Sharma had raised the residential towers to 53 metres whereas the permissible height was only 43 metres, he alleged.
Talking about Sharma's allegation, Khaira said he had bought over nine kanals in Adampur village about 15 years ago. He was still the owner of the land and there was nothing illegal about it, he added. "The Punjab vigilance bureau has held investigation at least 10 times to establish the illegality about the purchase, but has failed to prove it," Khaira added.
Khaira dares CPS on Saini
Khaira, at the press conference, dared CPS Sharma to ask his government to first register a case against Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini before probing the Congress leaders.
"The special tribunal constituted by the high court under Justice Kuldip Singh (retd) had clearly established in its first interim report as to how Saini had got mutation of 32 kanal Gair Mumkin Nadi (rivulet) land in his name at Karora village near Chandigarh. However, the Punjab government has not taken action against him," Khaira alleged.