HOSHIARPUR POLICE have booked 500 people, almost one person from every household of Bringali village, under various sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act for usurping 584 acres of panchayat land, following an inquiry conducted by the subdivisional magistrate (SDM) on the orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court to the district administration in a civil writ petition. The village has over 400 households.
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According to information available, FIR No. 7 of 12/02/2017 (a copy of which is available with The Indian Express) under sections 409, 420, 120-B of IPC and section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, has been lodged at Talwara police station against Abhishek Kaushal and 499 others, all residents of Bringali village near Talwara, for getting 11,675 kanal 19 marla land, belonging to Bringali gram panchayat, illegally transferred to the names of some residents of the village in collusion with officials of the rural development department by obtaining collusive decrees from the civil courts regarding the said land, without sanction from a competent authority.
According to police, based on these collusive decrees of ownership, mutations were entered in the Jamabandi (record of rights) by lower revenue officials and sanctioned by revenue courts. In some cases, the said land, after its ownership was transferred from the panchayat to private landowners’ names, changed hands several times over by way of registered sale deeds.
In this respect, Ranjit Singh and others had filed Civil Writ Petition No. 5775 in 2013 against the state of Punjab and others in which the High Court, in its order dated 17.05.2013, directed Hoshiarpur deputy commissioner to initiate action against those involved in the illegal disposal of the said panchayat land, in which SDM, Mukerian, was asked to conduct an inquiry. He concluded that the private people obtained decrees from the civil court in collusion with the panchayat and that the then panchayat had not performed its duty of safeguarding the panchayat land and did not properly represent itself in the civil courts. Based on SDM Mukerian’s report, Hoshiarpur DC Anindita Mitra wrote to the SSP, asking him to take action against the errant individuals after which the FIR was filed.