Monday, August 6, 2012

Punjab gets 15 days to set up panel to check land grab cases

TNN Aug 4, 2012, 02.12AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Apparently not happy over the failure of Punjab government in providing infrastructure to Justice Kuldip Singh panel that was appointed to look into land grab cases across Punjab, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed the state to provide the required facilities within 15 days.

Division bench headed by Justice Jasbir Singh of the HC has also made it clear that in case of non-compliance of the said orders, secretary in the department of home and justice, Punjab, should appear in person before the court.

When the matter came up before the HC on Friday, the bench questioned the Punjab government counsel on the delay in providing the infrastructure to the panel, in the absence of a stay order from the Supreme Court.

On May 29, HC had directed to constitute a panel to probe allegations of illegal possession of forest and village common/government land by VVIPs including politicians, IAS, IPS and others in the entire Punjab. Retired supreme court judge, Justice Kuldeep Singh, was appointed as head of the panel. While issuing directions, HC had set a deadline of 30 days for the Punjab government to provide necessary infrastructure and staff for the tribunal.

According to the orders, the tribunal would empower to examine all records and if required, may seek additional time to complete the probe. Initially, scope of the tribunal proposed to probe the illegal possessions of village common land/forest land by high-ups in the periphery of Chandigarh but later, HC clubbed all cases pending before the HC and expanded the scope bringing illegal possession of land in the entire state under its purview.

Around 60 high-ups including chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and DGP Sumedh Singh Saini are allegedly in possession of government/public land.

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

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