Bathinda land acquisition scam: HC says no need for fresh probe
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday held that there was no need for a fresh probe into the allegations of bungling in acquisition of land for Engineered Sanitary Landfill and Sewerage Solid Waste Treatment plant in Bathinda.punjab Updated: Feb 04, 2015 21:25 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday held that there was no need for a fresh probe into the allegations of bungling in acquisition of land for Engineered Sanitary Landfill and Sewerage Solid Waste Treatment plant in Bathinda.
During the resumed hearing, the bench of justice SK Mittal and justice Deepak Sibal held that when there was already a report by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), there was no need to have another report from the state police.
In December, a high court division bench had sought a fresh report and appointed deputy inspector general of police, Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, to look into the allegations. The high court had told him to submit the report by January 31.
However, the state government on Wednesday sought three months’ time to file the report.
During the hearing, petitioner’s counsel Ramandeep Singh Pandher submitted that the CBI inquiry had hinted at a scam and it had indicated involvement of top officials and politicians.
The CBI counsel also submitted that the state police had approached it to hand over the documents related to the probe. Following the submissions by various parties, the high court adjourned the case for March 26 for arguments in the case.
A preliminary CBI probe had found that the land at Mandi Khurd was chosen for acquisition with the malafide intention to benefit the landowners, who had bought the land only two days before the proposal was sent by the Bathinda municipal commissioner to the government for acquiring it.
The high court in August 2012 had directed the CBI to look into the allegations on a PIL filed by one Jarnail Singh and other residents of the said village. The petitioner had alleged that the state government had decided to acquire 36.81 acres at Mandi Khurd for the project.
A major portion of land in question was bought by politically influential people, including one Yadvinder, for Rs 1.59 crore. Later, the government gave a compensation of about Rs 8.67 crore for the land.