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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Ex-Abohar council president, 2 councillors booked for cheating

cities Updated: Sep 13, 2019 01:02 IST
Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar
Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar

Former Abohar municipal council president and BJP leader Pramil Kalani and two sitting councillors from the party, were booked for cheating and other charges on Thursday. The case involves selling part of the civic body’s land (3.5 kanal) earmarked for a 3-acre public park at Dharam Nagari at throwaway prices in a ‘contrived’ auction in February 2015.

The other accused are brothers Naresh and Rakesh Chhabra. Naresh had bought the land at ₹56.4 lakh against the ₹3 crore that the land would have fetched in open auction, according to the allegation of the complainant, Sushil Bishroi, a local resident. “Had the land in question being sold in open auction, ₹3 crore could had been collected, but the was same sold to Naresh for ₹56.4 lakh. This caused a huge loss to the exchequer,” Bishroi had alleged.

DSP Rahul Bhardwaj investigated the matter and has registered a case against the trio under Sections 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The complaint had been ignored for long, but with the change of guard in the state in July 2017, the local body department inquired into it. Finally, the department’s resolution to sell the land was cancelled and the sale agreement with Naresh was also terminated.

However, the government decided to return ₹56.4 lakh to Naresh at an interest of 18% per annum, a decision that has also raised eyebrows for its additional burden on the exchequer. Kalani was removed from the post of the council chief in July 2018. “The Congress government in the state has launched a witch-hunt. I am innocent and have done no wrong,” Kalani told HT.


Case involves selling part of the civic body’s land (3.5 kanal) earmarked for a 3-acre public park at throwaway prices in a ‘contrived’ auction in February 2015

First Published: Sep 13, 2019 01:02 IST