Wednesday, July 18, 2012

HC stays construction work on Shamlat land given to Vinod Sharma

TNN Jul 12, 2012, 06.48AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Eighteen years after Congress leader and Ambala MLA Vinod Sharma had got 168 acres of Shamlat land in Bhadso village of Karnal district, the Punjab and Haryana high court has put a stay on construction activities in 100 acres of this land for allegedly violating the terms of agreement.

Haryana government had allegedly acquired the land for Sharma in 1994. The land has allegedly been used for agricultural and personal purposes by Sharma in violation of the terms of agreement between the village panchayat and the MLA.

The orders were passed on Wednesday by a division bench of Justice Hemant Gupta of the HC while hearing a petition filed by some members of Bhadso village panchayat.

In its orders, Justice Gupta restrained Sharma from making any change in the nature of land use in question. The bench also issued notice to Haryana government, Piccadily Agro Industries, financial commissioner (revenue) and director panchayat, Haryana to file their response in the matter.

The petitioners informed the court that in 1994, Sharma allegedly used his position to acquire around 168 acres of Shamlat land (village common land) by suspending the then village sarpanch Jasmer Singh, who had refused to transfer the said land in favour of Sharma.

The land was transferred within a few days by appointing an acting sarpanch with the intervention of local administration for setting up a sugar mill on that land, the petitioners said. At present, Sharma has set up a sugar mill called Piccadily Agro Industries on this land.

The petitioners alleged that Sharma has used only 40% of the said land and used the remaining land for agricultural and personal purposes, which is a misuse of Shamlat land.

Demanding restoration of the said land to village panchayat, the petitioner sought the quashing of land transfer because the same has been got transferred for personal aggrandizement, at the cost of village community and in active connivance of Haryana government by allegedly misusing power and position by Venod Sharma.

Directions has also been sought to hand over possession of the entire unutilized vacant land being used by Sharma as agricultural/farm house. The case would now come up for further hearing on August 29.

© 2012 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved

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