Lokayukta orders action against officials for failure to remove encroachmentsUpdated: Dec 09, 2019 22:52 IST
Haryana Lokayukta has asked the state government to initiate “discreet inquiry” and take action against five officials for not taking steps to remove encroachments on residential plots meant for economically weaker sections (EWS) in Panipat.
Lokayukta Justice Nawal Kishore Agarwal, in his orders, asked the government to initiate investigation and take action against Panipat estate officials Vikas Dhanda and Deepak Ghanghas, the then Panipat deputy commissioner Samir Pal Srow, then chief administrator of Haryana Sehri Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) and administrator of HSVP, Rohtak.
The Lokayukta also asked the government to submit the action-taken report within three months.
The orders were issued on a complaint by Panpat-based activist PP Kapoor on July 4, 2016, stating that Hyderabadi Devpuri Shamshan Bhoomi Dharmarth Samiti had constructed 22 shops on 15 plots reserved for the EWS category.
Kapoor alleged that the said officials had not taken action against the encroachments despite repeated requests and letters written to them. He further alleged that the then deputy commissioner, under political pressure, did not appoint a duty magistrate for demolition drive.
Earlier, acting on the same complaint, the Lokayukta had ordered the 22 illegal shops constructed on the encroached land be demolished. But the officials concerned did not any action. Citing this inaction, the Lokayukta stated, “It is crystal clear that the said officials have not done their duties in accordance with law, thereby causing a huge loss to HSVP.”
It was also mentioned that the then deputy commissioner and estate officers had not taken action in accordance with Section 18 of HUDA Act, 1977, despite issuance of notices.
In the strongly worded order, the Lokayukta mentioned, “Corruption in a civilised society is a disease like cancer. It is termed as plague, which is not only contagious but if not controlled, spreads like a fire in a jungle. Its virus is compared with HIV leading to AIDS being incurable. It has also been termed as royal thievery.”
“Corruption is an enemy of the nation and tracking down corrupt public servant howsoever high he may be and punishing such a person is a necessary mandate under the PC Act 1988,” the order said.
In his complaint, Kapoor said that he had raised the issue of illegal possession of plots (numbered 516 to 530) at the Devpuri Road in Sector 11 in Panipat, which were reserved for 15 persons of EWS and had been encroached upon Gobind Juneja, president of the Hydrabadi Devpuri Shamshan Bhumi Dharmarth Society Panipat in March 2016.
Kapoor also accused the former BJP MLA from Panipat (city), Rohita Rewri, of protecting the encroachers.
As per the orders, the chief administrator of HUDA (now HSVP) was asked again and again to inform the Lokayukta office about the proposed action against the encroachers but no information was supplied nor was any step taken to get illegal encroachment on the said land removed.