The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) whether a copy or a brief of its inquiry report, in which it had recommended the registration of an FIR against 15 persons for acquisition of politically influential persons' land in Bathinda for a solid waste dumping yard at a very high price, can be handed over to the accused.
When CBI counsel Sumeet Goel informed the court that facts of the report could not be divulged in any manner to the accused, the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih directed him to take instructions that rather than giving the complete report, whether a brief can be handed over.
Allowed the application of former Bathinda municipal commissioner Ravi Bhagat, requesting to implead him as a party in the case, the court adjourned the case for July 26 for final arguments.
Bhagat was the municipal commissioner, Bathinda, from August 2009 to February 2011 and was also the chairman of the committee dealing with the development and management of solid waste in Punjab. He informed the court that he had no relation with the five beneficiaries of land acquisition and had never met them.
The public interest litigation was filed by residents of Mandi Khurd village of Bathinda district. The high court had on August 8, 2012, handed over the probe to the CBI office in Chandigarh.
The petitioners had alleged that the beneficiaries had jointly purchased land around 33 km from Bathinda town in Rampura Phul for around Rs 1.59 crore in February 2010. After a few days, the state government decided to acquire it for around Rs 7 crore. A total of 294 kanals and 9 marlas were acquired for the project vide a notification dated April 16, 2010, of which 247 kanals and 6 marlas belonged to the beneficiaries.
It has been alleged that the beneficiaries are close to revenue and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia, including Khushdev Singh, former councillor of Khanna municipal council; and Yadvinder Singh, district president of Ludhiana Youth Akali Dal, who was a ticket aspirant from Khanna for the 2012 assembly elections.
Others include Ludhiana resident Khushdev Singh, his wife Kamaljeet Kaur and brother Himmat Singh; Muktsar residents Kanwar Pal Singh, his wife Kirandeep Kaur and one Balvinder Singh; Ludhiana resident Yadvinder Singh, wife Jasdeep and relative Surjeet Kaur.