Four months after registering an FIR against seven people in the Mehandipur village government-land scam, the police at Kathgarh here are yet to file a challan in court.
On February 16, on the recommendation of the vigilance department, the first-information report (FIR) was lodged after the vigilance department and district administration had found the-then Balachaur tehsildar, kanungo and patwari involved in the multi-crore-rupee bungle.
Ravi Inder Singh of Bagowal; Pawan Kumar, Surinder Pal, Ashok Kumar and Malkit Chand of Rattewal; Pal Singh of Majara Jattan; and Ravi Kumar of Mallewal Koli were named in the FIR. A special investigating team (SIT) of deputy superintendent of police (headquarters) Sukhdev Singh, Banga Sadar station house officer Palwinder Singh and assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Kashmir Singh looked into the scam.
Sukhdev Singh, in charge of the SIT, said that after the team received an authentic forensic-examination report, challans would be filed.
All seven accused had their bail application turned down into local courts. Ravi, Ashok, Malkeet and Surinder then secured interim bail from the Punjab and Haryana high court. Prime accused Ravi Inder Singh got bail from the Supreme Court after the Punjab and Haryara high court had first declined it. Another key accused, Pawan and Pal Singh, is on the run after the high court rejected his bail petition as well.
Ravi, Ashok and Malkeet submitted in the court that their signatures on the land deed were forged. They also came out with a private agency forensic report, and on the basis on it, secured interim bail. Police don't trust the report and want the signatures examined at a government-owned laboratory.
A report from the financial commissioner (revenue) against the-then Balachaur tehsildar, Gurnam Singh, patwari Harinder Singh, and kanungo Gurdev Singh is also awaited after the deputy commissioner had written to him to take action.
On May 14, 2012, People's Party of Punjab leader Tarsem Singh and others had lodged a written complaint with the deputy commissioner against tehsildar Gurnam Singh and others that they had prepared a false mutation of 40-kanal government land in Mehandipur.
The complainants alleged that on April 3, 2012, revenue officials and others had prepared a mutation in the name of Sansar Singh of Mehandipur, which was a fake identity, and when it had come to light, made his fake death certificate and will to show that he had left his property to Ravi Inder Singh and Pawan Kumar.
On December 4, 2012, Tarsem Singh and others approached the high court, where the-then chief justice, AK Sikri, gave the deputy commissioner two months to investigate and take a decision. Petitioners questioned how Sansar Singh, shown as dead on April 30, 2009, had come to life on April 3, 2012, the day the land had been registered in his name.