A multi-crore-rupee scam in the sale of government properties has come to light in Nabha, 25km from here.
Investigation that deputy commissioner Ramvir Singh marked three weeks ago suggests, so far, that eight government properties — 35 acres worth Rs 150 crore — were sold off fraudulently to private people between 2005 and 2012 in connivance with the revenue department officials posted at Nabha then. “Nabha’s subdivisional magistrate (SDM) HS Sudan is supervising the investigation,” Ramvir Singh said.
“The matter is serious indeed. We will cancel the mutation and sale deed of all these government properties and recommend stern action against those involved in the sale,” the DC said. “After this, the process to get back the properties will begin.”
Sources said the immediate possession might not be easy, since many of these properties have been sold further multiple times and concrete buildings have come up over the land in a few cases. Inquiry officer Sudan didn’t rule out the involvement of municipal council officials, “as the deeds were executed based on the tax-summary (TS-1) certificate issued by the council”. These certificates carry details of the property and its occupier, for evidence in the execution of deed for properties in the Lal Lakeer (red line) area. “The TS-1 certificates were misused in the Nabha scam, for properties outside Lal Lakeer that had a proper khasra (land unit) number and intaqal (ownership) records in favour of the Punjab government,” Sudan said. “We are looking into how it was done and which officials and private parties were involved.”
The inquiry’s scope may be widened to other government properties in the town.
How it came to light
The complainant, whose identity is concealed, brought the matter to the vigilance bureau, which forwarded it to divisional commissioner AS Pannu with a recommendation of an inquiry and disciplinary action against all those involved. Pannu forwarded it to the DC for requisite action. “The DC is working on it. Let the inquiry finish,” Pannu said.