Superintendent of police (detective) Jaskaranjit Singh Teja is in the dock for recommending the cancellation of a case against realtors, which was upheld by two inquires conducted by SP-level officers.
The police have already violated the DGP’s directive that there should not be more than two inquiries in a case by ordering multiple inquiries into this case.
A case was registered in Bhadson police station against realtors for carving an illegal colony — Sandhu Colony in Bhadson block — when the local bodies deputy director complained that the illegal colony brought loss to the state exchequer. He asked the police to register an FIR against the coloniser in March 2011 on the basis of complaints from the colony residents that the realtor claimed to have got PUDA approval while he sold them unapproved plots. It was learnt that the realtor had even sold government lands.
But, the FIR was registered two years later, on April 26, 2013.
Preliminary inquiry found the realtors, identified as Sant Singh Boparai, Kamal Kumar Shiv Kumar Yadav, and Joginder Kumar of Jalandhar, Charnajit Singh of Hoshiarpur and Narinderpal Singh, guilty of cheating and criminal conspiracy.
The then Bhadson SHO confirmed that the realtors had purchased agricultural land and sold them off as residential property by carving out an illegal colony there. They were also charged with violation of Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act 1995.
However, bigger players, who were acting from behind the main accused, got marked in another inquiry in the case. The then SP (D) Prithpal Singh Thind upheld the SHO’s inquiry and recommended that all accused be arrested.
But, SHO Gurinder Singh Bal, who was appointed there next, dropped charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy from the FIR. He arrested the accused and bailed them out after an hour.
Agitated over this, Bhadson nagar panchayat filed a fresh inquiry with the SSP. He deputed SP Gursharan Singh Bedi to conduct the inquiry who also upheld the charges and recommended the inclusion of forgery charges as the accused had given two different maps of the colony to different police officials. So, the SSP ordered the arrest of the accused.
But, the case was scuttled again and DIG Shive Kumar Verma marked a fresh inquiry and constituted a special investigation team headed by SP (D) Jaskarnjit Singh Teja for it.
However, the SIT recommended the case be cancelled, without recording the statements of the colony residents on the pretext that PUDA had started an amnesty scheme where realtors could get their colonies approved by the government for a fee.
So, the police concluded that the realtors had paid the fee and the colony was in process of getting approved.
However, the realtors had applied for approval of 58 bighas of land while they owned only 49 bighas. So, the file was stuck with PUDA as it questioned how they could sell land which they did not possess.
Sandhu Colony Residents Welfare Society general secretary Ikonkar Singh, said, “The police are biased towards the real estate owners under pressure from an IPS officer. We will approach the high court over this by naming the police officer.”
However, SP (D) Jaskaranjit Singh Teja defended his move that complying with the PUDA Act.
IG Paramjit Singh Gill said he had rejected the cancellation of FIR against the realtors and marked a fresh inquiry into the case to Patiala SSP.