Sale deed executed on old papers that carried objection | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Sale deed executed on old papers that carried objection

The sale of government land by marking it as private property, which has led to Vikas Garg's ouster as Patiala deputy commissioner and indictment of then divisional commissioner GS Grewal and other revenue officials, was carried out on the basis of documents that were not only technically invalid but also clearly carried the remark that the land belonged to the government, it is learnt.

punjab Updated: Apr 22, 2012 13:21 IST
Vishal Rambani

The sale of government land by marking it as private property, which has led to Vikas Garg's ouster as Patiala deputy commissioner and indictment of then divisional commissioner GS Grewal and other revenue officials, was carried out on the basis of documents that were not only technically invalid but also clearly carried the remark that the land belonged to the government, it is learnt.

In fact, sources told HT that the sale deed of the 6,000 square yards land, on which several government offices stand, was executed in September 2011 on the same draft deed that was first rejected in 2010.

This meant that these stamp papers were more than six months old at the time of the eventual execution in 2011, and were thus invalid. Also, these papers clearly carried a marking by the then deputy commissioner (DC) Deepinder Singh, saying that the land was actually owned by the government. This marking was the grounds for the rejection of the sale deed in 2010, but was apparently ignored in September 2011.

This also exposes the lie of officials who claimed before divisional commissioner SR Ladhar during an inquiry that they did not know the land belonged to the government. The deed draft these officials approved in 2011 clearly mentioned that fact, sources told Hindustan Times.

Naib tehsildar Gurinder Singh Walia, who executed the sale deed in September 2011, has told Ladhar that the deed was executed by mistake.

"The stamp papers for the deed were purchased in September 2010, and the law clearly states that such papers have validity of only six months. Also, the demand drafts attached with deed were also more than a year old," the source in the revenue department further said.

The financial commissioner, revenue (FCR) NS Kang had marked the inquiry to Ladhar following the allegations of illegal sale of the government property on "wrong demarcation" as private property.

REVENUE OFFICIALS NAILED
Though naib tehsildar Walia and the probe report remain silent on the stamp papers being invalid, Walia only admitted his "mistake" of not having noticed that the general power of attorney (GPA), on the basis of which the land was sold, had already been annulled in December 2010 by Kiranindra Singh, who claims to own the land.

The GPA had been issued to Jaswant Singh and Ravdeep Singh, who 'sold' the land, according to the deed, to Yashpal Singh and others for around Rs 10 crore, much less than the market value of Rs 250 crore. Walia also claimed to not know that a committee formed by the then DC had personally measured the property and later concluded that it is government land.

Ladhar has clearly remarked in his probe report that Walia failed in his duty to confirm facts with the revenue records.

It was Walia's duty to check if the land being sold was government property and if the power of attorney was valid at the time of the execution of the sale deed. He failed on both counts and thus his role needed to be examined, remarked Ladhar, who has asked for a vigilance probe in the matter. The report has been submitted to the FCR and the CM office.