The UT Estate Office on Friday issued a show-cause notice to the Durga Dass Foundation (DDF) for the alleged misuse of the allotted site in Sector 24. The notice follows the CBI recommendation.
The CBI had made the recommendation to the UT Administration for initiating administrative action. Indicting DDF directors Atul Khanna and his father Brij Khanna, the investigating agency had submitted a detailed chargesheet in the CBI court regarding the ongoing criminal case against the DDF and its directors.
“The Estate Office has issued a show-cause notice seeking reply on the misuse of the allotted site. They have been given a fortnight. After hearing the arguments, further action to be initiated will be decided,” said Land Acquisition Officer Tilak Raj.
On November 25, 2013, the CBI had sent a communication to the Estate Office for initiating the resumption (taking over) proceedings. The communication, addressed to the Estate Department, stated, “You are requested to initiate resumption proceedings against Bharat Sewak Samaj for breach of terms and conditions of Conveyance Deed executed by them on 31.3.1983 under the provisions of Section 8-A of the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952.”
SP (CBI) Vineet Brijlal said they had conducted a thorough inquiry into the case and recommended resumption of the site. “During the course of inquiry, we had examined officials of the Estate Office and recommended stern action. It is for the administration to initiate action against the violations in the manner it deems fit,” he said.
The site in Sector 24 was allotted to Bharat Sewak Samaj (BSS) for “cultural and beneficent” purposes in 1968. In 1994, a trust — Durga Dass Foundation — was created under the chairmanship of Brij Khanna, with the trustees including his son Atul Khanna and other family members. A school, Strawberry Fields Kindergarten, is running at the site at present.
The CBI, in its report, had stated that “the foundation started running a high-end school and the profit earned was diverted by the accused persons for their personal use”. The CBI investigation also revealed that the accused concerned never got any permission from the Estate Office for changing the land use of the site, and started running a high-end school on the said site in violation of the law.