Panchayat in Faridkot allotted 3-acre land to private school illegally
The inquiry found that the allocation of land was in violation of the Supreme Court judgement that said the “state government permitting allotment of gram sabha land to private persons and commercial enterprises on payment of some money is illegal”.punjab Updated: May 19, 2018 10:29 IST
Bargari village panchayat in Jaitu sub-division of Faridkot district had illegally allotted three acres of common land to a leading private school, an inquiry has found.
Faridkot assistant commissioner (grievances) Jagdish Singh Johal in his inquiry has found that the encroachment by Dasmesh Public School, Bargari, caused financial losses to the state exchequer as it did not pay any rent for the land which is worth Rs 1 crore.
The inquiry report, submitted to the Faridkot deputy commissioner, also found that the panchayat in1988 misused its powers by allotting the village common land to the school without the government’s approval.
The report has recommended to the rural development and panchayat department to initiate the process to vacate the land and recover the losses from the school.
Violation of SC order
The inquiry found that the allocation of land was in violation of the Supreme Court judgement that said the “state government permitting allotment of gram sabha land to private persons and commercial enterprises on payment of some money is illegal”.
Violation of common land act
The inquiry found that panchayat gave the land to the school for free. Moreover, the school has opened a bank and a dental hospital on its premises in violation of Section 5 of the Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation) Act, 1961, which states that all land vested or deemed to have been vested in a panchayat shall be utilised for the benefit of the village.
In April, the district development and panchayat officer office had said the Bargari panchayat passed the resolution and gave land to the school unconditionally. They also sent a resolution to the state government for land transfer but failed to get an approval for the same.
School ran without affiliation till 2013
The district education officer (secondary) office’s records reveal the school was running without any affiliation till 2013. The department gave affiliation to the school under the Right to Education Act in 2013.
Surjeet Singh, the complainant, said the school neither paid any rent to the panchayat nor gave any relaxation in fees to village students. Dasmesh Public School, Bargari, director Jasbir Singh Sandhu said, “The panchayat gave us the land in 1988 by passing a resolution. Even if we didn’t get approval from the government, the panchayat resolution still stands.”
Faridkot deputy commissioner Rajiv Prashar could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.