Panchkula land fraud case: 1 held guilty, 3 revenue officials among 7 let off - Hindustan Times
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Panchkula land fraud case: 1 held guilty, 3 revenue officials among 7 let off

By, Panchkula
May 14, 2024 09:00 AM IST

Janendra Gurukul had appointed one Rup Lal Jain as the school’s estate manager, but due to mistake of revenue officials, his name was entered as “Ram Lal” in revenue records; taking advantage of this mistake, accused Sukhwinder got a fake will registered in 2006 in respect of the school’s land, measuring 22 bighas

Nearly 12 years after the Haryana Anti-Corruption Bureau booked 10 people for preparing a fake will to grab the land of Janendra Gurukul School in Panchkula, a local court on Monday convicted one accused, while acquitting seven others, including three revenue officials.

The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on May 14. (iStock)
The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on May 14. (iStock)

The court of additional district and sessions judge Praveen Kumar Lal convicted Sukhwinder Singh of forgery for purpose of cheating and destruction of evidence. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on May 14.

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The acquitted accused include the then district revenue officer (DRO) GS Virk; the then Panchkula naib tehsildar Narinder Singh Rana; halqa patwari Ranbir Singh; Surajpal Rana, the witness in the fake will; and Sanjiv Kumar, Jagtar Singh and Ashwani Bharadwaj who had entered into a compromise deed with Sukhwinder.

Two accused, halqa patwari Rakesh Kumar and Sukhwinder’s accomplice Kuljeet Singh Suri, died during the pendency of the trial. Thus, the proceedings against them were dropped in December 2012 and April 2021, respectively.

The case was registered on August 3, 2012, by director general, State Vigilance Bureau, Haryana, in compliance with a memo, dated August 2, 2012, by the chief secretary, vigilance department, Haryana.

It was alleged that GS Virk, the then DRO; Narinder Singh, the then naib tehsildar; kanungo Arun Dutt and others, after taking hefty 2-crore bribe from Sukhwinder and others, tried to sanction the valuable land of Janendra Gurukul, Kalka Road, Panchkula, on the basis of a fabricated will. They later destroyed the record.

After inquiry, it was found that Janendra Gurukul had appointed one Rup Lal Jain as the school’s estate manager, but due to mistake of revenue officials, his name was entered as “Ram Lal” in revenue records.

Taking advantage of this mistake, accused Sukhwinder got a fake will registered in 2006 in respect of the school’s land, measuring 22 bighas.

When the school realised the mistake, they submitted an application with the Panchkula deputy commissioner for correction of revenue record, which the revenue officers did.

During inquiry, it was also found that kanungo Arun Dutt took 20,000 as bribe from Sukhwinder. Further, DRO GS Virk and halqa patwari Ranbir Singh issued wrong mutation letters in respect of the land, and patwari Rakesh Kumar cancelled the “fard badar” and made a wrong report.

Thereon, accused Sukhwinder entered into an agreement with Gurcharanjit Singh and Surinder Kumar Mittal to sell the said land for 25 crore, and received 10.15 crore as earnest money from them.

Sukhwinder then entered into a compromise deed with accused Sanjiv Kumar, Jagtar Singh and Ashwani Bharadwaj for getting the land’s mutation sanctioned, and get the possession delivered. The said compromise deed bears the signatures of Surajpal Rana as witness.

As per prosecution, accused Sukhwinder and Kuljeet Singh Suri paid revenue officials, including GS Virk, Narinder Singh Rana, Arun Dutt, Ranbir Singh, halqa patwari Rakesh Kumar and sadar kanungo Surinder Singh, a total bribe of 2 crore to get fake documents prepared for getting his name entered in the revenue records.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau had chargesheeted all accused under Sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable, security, etc.), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, and Sections 7, 8 and 13 (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

In August 2015, the court had framed charges against accused. Nearly nine years later, the court let off seven of the accused, while convicting Sukhwinder. The detailed order is awaited.

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