In a multi-crore scam in the sale of government properties in Nabha, the Punjab vigilance bureau has nailed as many as nine government officials, including a serving sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), tehsildar and executive officer in its report, prepared earlier this year. Besides, over a dozen of private parties were also named for alleged sale and purchase of government land.
The report, which is in possession of the HT, found 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.
Based on the vigilance report, a detailed inquiry has been underway under deputy commissioner of Patiala Ramvir Singh as reported by HT on September 8.
Sources said that more names could crop up as the current investigation has been scrutinising relevant records.
Many of those reported in the VB report have got promotion or transferred out of Nabha in due course. Two of those named have already retired.
For instance, Jagsir Singh, then a naib tehsildar and now posted as tehsildar in Pathankot, said that more than revenue officials, MC officials were responsible for this scam as sale deeds were executed based on the MC’s tax-summary (TS-1) certificate, showing private parties as the occupier of the property.
“No government official can knowingly transfer a government property. It is better if a proper mapping is done for all the government land in Nabha with revised consolidation of revenue records for the benefit of revenue officials,” he said.
Paramjit Singh, who was earlier posted as tehsildar in Nabha, is currently posted as SDM, Ludhiana. When contacted, Singh claimed innocence saying that vigilance was satisfied with his reply during investigation.
Besides, three naib tehsildars, including Harinder Sharma (now posted in Longowal), Rijwinder Singh Dhanoa (now posted in Samana) and Manmohan Kumar (now posted in Sangrur), have also been named.
The report has found MC officials equally responsible and legal action has been recommended against then executive officer Ravdeep Singh, junior engineer Iqbal Mohammad and junior clerk Jatinder Singh
Two officials, executive officer Surjeet Singh and tehsildar Jaspal Kaur, named in the report, recently retired from the service.
The bureau report said that the sale of government land was not possible without private parties. Besides three document writers including, Joginder Kaad, Mahesh Inder Sharma, and Pawan Kumar, the report has sought action against Om Parkash, Bishan Das, Nand Lal Ram Gupta, Pawan Kumar, Sham Lal, Tapinder Singh, Sohan Lal and many others. These all are residents of Nabha, the report mentioned.
No action taken
Sources said the bureau report was marked for a detailed inquiry for departmental action against those all involved in the scam and take back the possession of the government land after cancellation of the mutation.
However, criminal action has not started either against government officials or private parties involved in this scam.