A day after his arrested,former deputy mamlatdar of Khambha taluka in Amreli district was remanded to five-day police custody by a local court in Khambah on Friday in connection with an alleged multi-crore land fraud three years ago.
Kaushik Joshi,who was deputy mamlatdar of Khambha and is currently a head clerk in the office of Vadiya mamlatdar of the district,was arrested by Khambha police late Thursday and produced before executive magistrate of Khambha on Friday. After a brief hearing,the magistrate granted police Joshis custody till May 1.
When he was deputy mamlatdar of Khambha,he gave effect to an order changing 1600 acres of land from New Tenure to Old Tenure without checking veracity of it. The said order of sub-judicial magistrate (SDM) of Rajula was a forged one and Joshi did not exercise due diligence while acting on it, Dhari police sub-inspector Bhikha Vaghela said. While Joshi has claimed he knows nothing about the scam,police say there is enough evidence to prove he was involved in it.
Joshi is second deputy mamlatdar to be arrested in the case. The then deputy mamlatdar in-charge of electronic records,Babu Joshi,was arrested in January this year.
The case relates to the 1662 acres of land worth crores of rupees in Dedan village of Khambha. After it fell surplus under the Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling Act 1961,the land was given to Rajula Anujati Samudayik Mandali,a Rajula-based cooperative for farming. Such land is classified as New Tenure land. Its owners cannot sell it without permission of state government.
However,according to a complaint filed in 2010 by then mamlatdar of Khambha,the then chairman of the cooperative,Kanji Babariya,Babu Joshi and Kaushik Joshi connived and forged documents to change the land into one of Old Tenure to gain financially by selling it.