Monday, November 25, 2013

JUSTICE KULDIP SINGH SPECIAL TRIBUNAL REPORT PART IX : Punjab Land Grab - Sales based on illegal mutations, connivance of revenue officials

Continuing with the series, The Tribune today reproduces operative portions of the report pertaining to villages Sanauli and Sultanpur

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 17

Like in other Punjab villages around Chandigarh, sale of shares of public land on the basis of unauthorised and illegal girdawaries in connivance with the revenue officials has also been pointed out by the Special Tribunal headed by Justice Kuldip Singh in Sanauli and Sultanpur villages.

Castigating the elected village bodies, the Tribunal said that the Gram Panchayats instead of exercising control on the land, became a party to the whole scenario.

Among those persons whose names figure in the Tribunal's scrutiny are those of ADGP Sanjiv Gupta and an Educational Trust run by close relatives of former Union Minister and UT MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Sanauli village

Referring to Sanauli Village, the Special Tribunal stated, “The total area of the village is 4435 bigha 4 biswa. The total Shamlat area in the village is 392 bigha 5 biswa. Out of the above total Shamlat land 97 bigha 17 biswa is being used and utilized for common purposes. The jamabandi for the year 2010-11 shows that land measuring 102 bigha 18 biswa has been given on 33 years lease to JTL Education Foundation (a Trust) by the Gram Panchayat. Mutation No.10727 dt 13.2.2011 in this respect has been registered which shows that the lease is for 33 years.

“It may be mentioned that the JTL Education Foundation trust which has taken the lease of 33 years is named ”JTL Education Foundation” which was created by Trust Deed dt 5.4.2010 at Chandigarh. Trustees are:

(i) Sh. Mithan Lal Singla S/o late Jagan Nath Singla, R/o # 105, Sector 28-A, Chandigarh
(ii) Sh. Sandeep Gupta S/o Sh. Puran Chand Gupta, R/o # 6 Sector Astha Enclave, Near Dashera Ground, Kharar, district Mohali and
(iii) Sh.Chetan Singh S/o Sh.Madan Mohan Singh, R/o 105, Sector 28-A, Chandigarh. The photo copy of the Trust deed on record shows that the Trust was registered on 21st April, 2010.

“The lease for 33 years was given by the Gram Panchayat for educational purposes purporting to be under rule 6(3) of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules, 1964. It may be mentioned that there was no publicity etc by the Panchayat land inviting educational institutions to apply for the lease.

“This was one to one transaction. It may be mentioned that settler of JTL Education Foundation Trust, provided in the Trust, a corpus of mere Rs.500/- for the fulfillment of the objective of the Trust. This case has already achieved lot of publicity in the newspapers as the members of this Trust have been linked as close relations of Pawan Kumar Bansal, the former Railway Minister. It is pertinent to mention that Civil Writ Petition No.16494 of 2012 Harshinder Singh vs. State of Punjab etc, wherein the grant of 33 years lease deed to the JTL Education Foundation has been challenged, is pending in the Punjab & Haryana High Court and the next date is 24.7.2013.

Sultanpur Village

Going into revenue records of Sultanpur Village, Tribunal held, “The revenue record of this village shows that 258 Kanal 15 Marla of land as Jumla Malkan Wa Digar Haqdaran Hasab Rasad Rakba. According to the Halqa Patwari, Sh. Balraj Singh, the jamabandis for the year 1972-73 & 1977-78 are not traceable on the record.

“The Mutation Register also starts with Mutation No. 678. Jumla Malkan land though shown as that of the Jumla Malkan but in column of Kashtkar, the names of individual right holders are shown. From December 1993 onwards, the persons’ named in Khana Kashtkar started selling their shares to different outsiders. The jamabandi for the year 2006-07 shows as 236 Kanal 2 Marla as Jumla Malkan but the names of the following persons who have purchased land from the villagers are shown in the Kasht column (above).

Note: (For Table 1) Though the land is shown under the ownership of Jumla Malkan and as such of the Panchayat, it was being sold by the right holders (so called Kashtkar) as their personal property. Transfers have been made by them through sale as well as gifts etc.

Note: (For Table 2) Despite the fact that the above mentioned mutation was not sanctioned and in fact rejected by the A.C-2nd Grade, so called purchaser is still shown as the owner in the Jamabandi of 2001-02 and thereafter including the Jamabandi of 2006-07.

“The land comprising the above mutations was allegedly sold by the Kashtkars namely Tarlochan Singh, Kulwant Singh, Bhupinder Singh s/o Pritam Singh. Tarlochan Singh etc are the right holders of the village. They have got done the girdawaries in their favour.

(To be continued)

Copyright : The Tribune Trust, 2012

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