The Punjab government has transferred Vikas Garg from the post of Patiala deputy commissioner after the HT report, 'Officials in the dock over land sale' (April 20), highlighted the indictment of Garg and five others in connection with the illegal sale of government property worth Rs 250 crore.
Revenue officials of Patiala have been directed to cancel the mutation of the government property which was sold after being marked 'private'.
As recommended by the inquiry officer, Patiala divisional commissioner SR Ladhar, the government is contemplating a vigilance probe into the matter.
"I have just gone through the probe report and will discuss it with my minister (Bikram Singh Majithia) to take the final decision," said NS Kang, financial commissioner, revenue (FCR).
"The matter has already been taken up with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who after taking advice from the advocate general, has asked the FCR to move the case to the vigilance department for the registration of an FIR," an official said.
Sources said the government was likely to forward the case file to the vigilance bureau next week for a full-fledged inquiry.
Apart from Garg, the probe also indicted former divisional commissioner GS Grewal, the district revenue officer, the naib tehsildar and two other revenue officials for illegally executing the sale deed of a government property which houses offices of the civil surgeon, district town planner and district education officer, apart from an employment exchange.
Meanwhile, Ladhar has directed the Patiala revenue authorities to cancel the mutation of the government land with immediate effect.
"As per the Revenue Act, we cannot cancel a sale deed, once executed. However, for safeguarding the state property, I have directed the Patiala DC and SDM to cancel the mutation so that no one can resale or purchase it on the basis of a wrongly-executed sale deed," said Ladhar.
He has also written to the secretary, health, and secretary, education, to direct the officials concerned posted in Patiala not to vacate their offices, so as to maintain possession with the government.
A copy of this letter has also been forwarded to the chief medical officer (CMO), district education officer (DEO) and other officials who have offices on the government land which was sold.