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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Land scam: Revenue officers out of net despite vigilance recommendation

Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times  Nawanshahr, March 01, 2013
First Published: 22:33 IST(1/3/2013) | Last Updated: 22:34 IST(1/3/2013)

An inquiry conducted by vigilance department has found three revenue officials - Balachaur tehsildar, a patwari, and kanungo - and seven others involved in a land scam worth crores of rupees at Mehandipur village in the district.

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Interestingly, the Nawanshahr police registered a case against seven people for fake mutation of the said land and Balachaur tehsildar happens to be the complainant. The police have not named the revenue officers in the FIR despite a recommendation for the same by the investigating officer.

Speaking with Hindustan Times, deputy superintendent of police (vigilance) Ram Parkash, who carried out an investigation into the fake mutation of the land, said, “I found involvement of Balachaur tehsildar Gurnam Singh, patwari Harinder Singh and kanungo Gurdev Singh in the incident. I had sent the report to the higher authorities last week.”

The DSP has categorically mentioned that tehsildar Gurnam Singh, along with patwari and kanungo, prepared a false mutation of land in the name of a fake person, Sansar Singh son of Kartar Singh. 

DSP vigilance had also found that Ravi Inder Singh of Bagowal, Pawan Kumar of Rattewal, Pal Singh of Majara Jattan village, Ravi Kumar of Mallewal Koli village, Surinder Pal, Ashok Kumar and Malkit Chand of Rattewal were also a party to the land scam.

Kathgarh police which had been facing flak for making Tehsildar as complainant, claimed that his (tehsildar's) name as the complainant in the FIR had appeared by mistake.

Kathgarh SHO Ram Ji Dass said, “It was a clerical error as the case was registered on the inquiry report of DSP (vigilance) Ram Parkash. Tehsildar Gurnam Singh was shown as complainant in the FIR by mistake and the SSP has already written to Balachaur DSP to rectify the error”.

When asked why police didn't book the revenue officials, who were found guilty in the inquiry, he said that the police would first arrest the other seven suspects and case against revenue officials would be lodged once there was some documentary proofs against them.

The SHO further said that deputy commissioner had also been carrying out a separate inquiry into the incident on the orders of Punjab and Haryana high court.

He said that the police were raiding the possible hideouts of the seven suspects, but they were yet to be arrested.

Tarsem Singh of Chinairi Khurd village, who had filed a PIL in the high court concerning the said incident, alleged that the police were under pressure from some local politicians, resulting which the revenue officials were not named in the FIR.

He said that they would move court again if the revenue officials were not arrested by the police.

Case history
On May 14, 2012, Tarsem Singh, along with others, filed a written complaint (a copy of which is with HT) with deputy commissioner against Balachaur tehsildar Gurnam Singh and others that they had allegedly prepared a false mutation of 40-kanal land situated in Mehandipur village, which belongs to government.

The complainants alleged that the land was registered in the name of a fake person Sansar Singh of Mehandipur, by revenue officials and others on April 3, 2012.

They further stated that when it came to light that there was no person by the name of Sansar Singh, the accused allegedly made a fake death certificate of Sansar Singh dated April 30, 2009, and also prepared a fake will (vasiyat) that land should be distributed equally between Ravi Inder Singh of Bagowal and Pawan Kumar of Rattewal villages.

On December 4, 2012, Tarsem Singh and others approached the high court after deputy commissioner failed to take any action on their complaint. High court chief justice AK Sikri directed the deputy commissioner to investigate into this incident and take a decision within two months.

Pointing out discrepancies, Tarsem Singh said that Sansar Singh, who was shown as dead on April 30,2009, again came to life on April 3,2012, the day the land was registered in his name.

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