Did councillor encroach upon land? Civic body changes stance to benefit lawmaker | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Did councillor encroach upon land? Civic body changes stance to benefit lawmaker

punjab Updated: Dec 04, 2014 15:33 IST
Anshu Seth

The ad hoc and arbitrary functioning of the Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) has ensured that two officials have submitted reports that contradict each other on as important an issue as encroachment by the councillor from ward number 57, within a span of two years.

One official put on record in 2012 that there had been encroachment by the local lawmaker and a godown had been constructed on government land, while another recent report clouds over the issueand claims that it is not certain that the encroacher was Veera Bedi, the councillor in question.

Interestingly, Veera’s husband has been the personal assistant of former SAD minister and district (urban), president, Hira Singh Gabria.

THE CASE

Following a writ petition filed by NGO Mahasabha Ludhiana in 2012 against Veera for having encroached upon the MC land to build and run an illegal godown, the Punjab and Haryana high court had directed the then Ludhiana deputy commissioner (DC) Rahul Tewari to demolish the same. Complying with the orders, the DC demolished the godown in December 2012.

The NGO in its petition had also asked for the cancellation of the councillorship of Veera keeping in mind the fraud committed by her.

The DC then forwarded the case to the MC commissioner and the police commissioner to take necessary action against the guilty, but nothing has been done till date.

As a result the NGO approached the director, local bodies department, Chandigarh, for taking action against Veera. Finally, after two reminders from the local bodies department in January 2013, the MC sent a report to the director which stated that Veera and her mother Surjit Kaur had illegal possession of the land falling under khasra 106 since 1996.

Interestingly, Veera and her mother had also filed a suit against the MC for permanent injunction on the area measuring 350 square yards but did not get stay.

However, the MC authorities in an affidavit filed in the high court in January 2014 stated that it had not been mentioned anywhere in the report of the former DC that the encroacher was Veera, adding that the report nowhere said whether Jaspal Singh, who was shown the owner of the godown, had any connection with Veera. The affidavit also stated that the MC did not have any power to remove Veera from the councillorship as it was the prerogative of the state government.

Ludhiana Mahasabha president Col (retd) Jagdish Brar said, “It is a sorry state of affairs as the MC authorities when confronted with the contradictory reports had nothing to say.”

“The official machinery fails when it comes to the interference of their political bosses," alleged Brar. He said they would carry on with their fight till an action was initiated against the guilty.

Ludhiana: The ad hoc and arbitrary functioning of the Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) has ensured that two officials have submitted reports that contradict each other on as important an issue as encroachment by the councillor from ward number 57, within a span of two years.

One official put on record in 2012 that there had been encroachment by the local lawmaker and a godown had been constructed on government land, while another recent report clouds over the issueand claims that it is not certain that the encroacher was Veera Bedi, the councillor in question.