The Himachal Pradesh government has ordered an inquiry into the permission granted to 18 applicants from Haryana, including Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Nirmal Yadav, to buy 11 bighas of land in Solan.
The land was granted under Section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act.
The Joint Secretary, Revenue, will conduct an inquiry following questions over the veracity of the addresses of applicants.
Nirmal Yadav has been in the news following the disclosure of her alleged links with a Delhi hotelier who is said to have plied her with Rs 15-16 lakh in cash at her home in Chandigarh recently.
The nexus came to light after a munshi of a senior Chandigarh administration solicitor deposited the amount at the home of another lady judge, Nirmaljit Kaur, who registered a complaint with the police, and an FIR was lodged against Yadav recently.
Sources said that under normal circumstances, permission is given to any non-agriculturist in Himachal or any outsider for purchase for residential purposes. They can acquire up to 500 sq mts.
In this case, what is being questioned is how 18 applicants from Haryana, most of them family members or relatives, were considered for permission to buy 2.2 acres for houses at one place.
District officials in Solan, the border district where outsiders have been showing interest to buy land, say that though such permission is not normally given, there is nothing unprecedented about it. "The government can consider such applications," an official said.
The 18 persons had applied to buy land on the Kumarhatti-Nahan road in March this year. The Deputy Commissioner forwarded the case to the state government on April 4 and permission came on August 4. The registry was done on August 14.
Revenue Minister Gulab Singh Thakur said, "We have gone by norms in granting permission, even if there were 18 applicants. Still, since some questions are being raised by the media, we have asked a Joint Secretary-level officer to look into the matter,"
"If somebody has attached fake documents, and it comes to notice in the inquiry at any stage, it becomes a criminal case," said Deputy Commissioner of Solan Amandeep Garg.