A member of the erstwhile Patiala royal family has claimed that a prime plot of land, whose sale was allegedly illegal, belongs to him, and refuted government claims that it is the real owner of the land.
Kiraninder Singh, grandson of the late Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, says he is the owner of the 6,000 square yard-plot - the size of a hockey ground - estimated to be worth Rs 250 crore, and said he would take officials to court over the issue.
HT had in an exclusive story reported how Patiala divisional commissioner Sucha Ram Ladhar had in an inquiry indicted six officials - including Patiala deputy commissioner Vikas Garg and former divisional commissioner GS Grewal - for misuse of powers and recommended a probe into the alleged scam (Officials in dock for land sale; HT, April 20).
Kiraninder, 69, is the son of Kanwar Barjinder Singh whose father Bhupinder Singh ruled the princely state of Patiala from 1900 to 1938.
Punjab Congress chief and former chief minister Amarinder Singh is also a grandson of Bhupinder Singh.
It is on the basis of Kiraninder's general power of attorney (GPA) that the registry for the Patiala land was executed. However, at the time of execution of deed, Kiraninder annulled his GPA.
Kiraninder told HT that he inherited the land from his father, Barjinder, to whom the then PEPSU (Patiala and East Punjab States Union) had allotted the land, which was at that time house number 9 of Baradari Gardens.
"As per allotment by PEPSU state, my father owns the land subsequently. Now, I am the owner and executing the deed on basis of my cancelled GPA, government functionaries committed a fraud. I will sue them and register an FIR," he said.
Contesting Ladhar's conclusion that it was government land, Kiraninder said he had papers that showed that the land falls in his khasra (number 104) whereas the government is trying to prove it falls in khasra number 103, which is owned by the government (a khasra legally specifies land and crop detail).
"It's a case of wrong demarcation, which some district administration officials posted in 2010 intentionally did as I refused to pay them a bribe of Rs 1 crore, which they demanded from me," he said. "Annoyed revenue officials later summarised that it is government property, so that no one can purchase the land from me."
A committee formed by former deputy commissioner Deepinder Singh had summarised the report that the chief medical officer's office falls in Khasra 103, which is owned by the government.
Kiraninder said Ladhar too was "not aware of these facts". He said his lawyers would soon file an FIR against officers who executed the sale deed. "We have already approached the court for cancellation of sale deed," he said.
Besides Garg and Grewal, names of the district revenue officer, a naib tehsildar and two revenue officials have surfaced in the land sale. The state government is expected to take a decision on Ladhar's report on Monday.