A 3.2 acre tract of farm land — part of which is registered in the names of President Pratibha Patil’s husband, Devisinh Shekhawat, and his relatives — must be returned to its rightful owner, a sub-divisional magistrate in Maharashtra’s Amravati district has ordered.
Kishore Bansod, a farmer of Chandrapur village in the district, approached the court in June last year, complaining that Shekhawat and some others had in October 2007 grabbed his land by tampering with the land records.
“My client wasn’t willing to sell the land,” said Sunil Gajbhiye, Bansod’s lawyer. “So, the Shekhawats got it fraudulently transferred in their names.”
“The Shekhawats own almost 200 acres in the village and were interested in owning this land too,” Gajbhiye told HT. “We challenged the transfer and the magistrate said it was illegal.”
Denying any land grab, Shekhawat told HT: “The land officers measured the land in a wrong manner and showed it
as ours when my father bought it. The complainant has been
tilling the disputed land for so many years and we didn’t complain. His name is there on the document, so are those of our family members.”
The order — a copy of which Bansod got on Wednesday after it was passed on December 7, 2009 — says the land should be measured again and Bansod should get due share.
Shekhawat said he’d give away all the land, including his share, to Bansod if the allegations were proved right.
Shekhawat’s son, Congress MLA Rajinder Shekhawat, denied his family was accused of land grabbing. “The order was that a fresh measurement of the land will take place,” he told PTI.