Responding to a public interest litigation alleging the illegal sale of 'nazul' (government) land, the Punjab government admitted on Friday before the Punjab and Haryana high court that 2,596 acres of 'nazul' land had been illegally sold in the districts of Kapurthala, Patiala, SAS Nagar and Fatehgarh Sahib.
The information was submitted before the division bench comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Garg on Friday by SS Khara, special secretary, department of revenue, rehabilitation and disaster management, Punjab, through an affidavit.
Rajpura resident Soma Singh had alleged in his petition that a large chunk of 'nazul' land had been sold illegally to various influential persons in Punjab in connivance with revenue department officials. The petitioner, while stating that 'nazul' land could only be allotted to cooperative societies of Scheduled Castes as per rules, had requested the court to constitute a special investigation team to probe the entire case in all districts of Punjab.
The officer informed the court that 2,433 acres of 'nazul' land had been illegally sold in Phagwara and Bholath tehsils of Kapurthala district. Around 115-acre 'nazul' land had been illegally sold in Rajpura tehsil of Patiala district, 39 acres in Fatehgarh Sahib district and around 6 acres in SAS Nagar district. However, there were no reports from other districts regarding selling of 'nazul' land, the court was informed.
The officer also submitted that deputy commissioners of all districts had been directed to take action as per law in all cases where 'nazul' land had been sold illegally.
The court adjourned hearing of the case for February 1, 2013.