Friday, November 22, 2013

JUSTICE KULDIP SINGH SPECIAL TRIBUNAL REPORT PART-VI : Punjab Land Grab - Amarinder Singh & family figure in Majrian illegal deals

Continuing with the series on grabbing of public land brought out by the Special Tribunal headed by Justice Kuldip Singh, The Tribune today reproduces the operative portions of the report pertaining to Majrian village.

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 14

Tempering of records and purchase of shares without earmarking of the area by some persons with the connivance of revenue officials are some of the irregularities pointed out by Justice Kuldip Singh Special Tribunal in Majrian village, near Chandigarh. Among the names that figure in the land transactions are those of former Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh and members of his family.

Special Tribunal has recommended suitable punishment against revenue officials if further investigations establish their fraudulent intent and deeds.

The Special Tribunal stated, “The revenue record of this village shows that the total shamlat land in the village as reflected in the jamabandi of 1983-84 and thereafter was 3603 Acre 3 Kanal and 13 Marla which includes the area under hills and also the area of the choes (seasonal rivulets). The area under hills has been shown as 2172 Acre, 7 Kanal and 1 Marla and area under choes as 499 Acre 1 Kanal and 10 Marlas.

“The shamlat land as mentioned above was distributed by the orders of the Consolidation Officer dated 22.4.1991 in Case No 116. The Patwari has given a photo copy of the order to us. The shares of the right holders of the village were determined and incorporated in the order by the Consolidation Officer. The names of all the share holders (1-168) have been given in the order and against their names the numbers of their shares have been indicated. The shares as determined by the Consolidation Officer were incorporated in the record vide mutation No.2026 sanctioned on 7.5.1991 by the Assistant Collector, 2nd Grade.

“While examining the entries incorporated in the mutation register under Mutation No. 2026, the Patwari has invited our attention to some interpolated entries in the list of the right holders which prima facie shows that the records have been tampered with and some sort of fraud was attempted with the connivance of the revenue officials/ officers. The Mutation Register relating to the year 1991-92 shows the following entries:

“All the above mentioned persons who have been shown as share holders, having received shares under the orders of the Consolidation Officer dated 22.4.1991, according to the Patwari are allegedly fake and have been incorporated fraudulently. Their names do not find mention in the order of the Consolidation Officer dated 22.4.1991.

“Admittedly, a large tract of disputed land of village Majrian being shamlat, hilly and choes, there was no justification whatsoever with the Consolidation Officer to pass the order dated 22.4.1991.

The said order is ex-facie without jurisdiction and is a nullity. After the determination of the shares by the Consolidation Officer in the above said order, large number of people pounced upon that area and started buying the shares of the so-called right holders as determined by the Consolidation Officer in his order dated 22.4.1991. A list of about 30 persons, who have purchased comparatively larger number of shares has been placed on the record.

“57 purchasers of the shares, which include Raja Shivdev Inder Singh s/o Raja Maheshinder Singh, Jasmer Singh Jaijee s/o Harchand Singh, Capt Amrinder Singh s/o Yadwinder Singh, Kamaljit Kaur w/o Anmol Singh, Yudnadini Kumari w/o Raja Surinder Singh Nalagarh, Lt. Gen. Amarjit Singh Sandhu s/o Hari Singh, Ajay Jain etc. filed an application before the Assistant Collector, Ist Grade, Kharar on 26.9.2002 requesting that the land subject matter of the application was in the joint names of the parties and as such the same should be partitioned. The Assistant Collector ordered the partition of the area on 18.11.2003 despite objections raised before him that the hilly area could not be partitioned.

“Needless to say that the order dated 22.4.1991 and subsequently the order of partition dated 18.11.2003 are prima facie illegal and cannot be sustained. The land having been shamlat land, the provisions of Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulations) Act, 1961 squarely cover the same and apart from that the land being hilly area, the provisions of the Forest Act and Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1903 have also been violated. Names of some of the persons having large chunks of land are:

“The list of some more persons of the same category have been placed on the record. 

“We are prima facie of the view that the order of the Consolidation Officer, Mohali dated 22.4.1991, the order of the Assistant Collector, 1st Grade, Kharar dated 18.11.2003 and the shares purchased by various persons without earmarking of the area, are illegal without jurisdiction and are thus a nullity. Harnam Singh and five others whose names have been mentioned above and who have allegedly tampered with the official record should be suitably punished, if proved after investigation”.

(To be continued)

Copyright : The Tribune Trust, 2012

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