60 ‘VIPs’ let off for now in ‘land scam’

As per sources,properties belonging to 15 of the 60 VVIPs have been examined till now.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: March 15, 2013 1:28:28 am

In a temporary sigh of relief for the 60 “so-called VIPs”,the Judicial Tribunal,constituted to probe the alleged illegal properties owned by high ups in the city’s periphery,has held that against some of the VVIPS nothing incriminating has been found against them.

As per sources,properties belonging to 15 of the 60 VVIPs have been examined till now.

“The investigation regarding the remaining influential persons is in process. We have almost completed the examination of the record and it will take some more time before we finally submit a report in respect of the 60 so-called VVIPS. We are still examining as to whether they own/possess any other land in the Punjab part of periphery of Chandigarh,” reads the inquiry report of the Tribunal comprising Justice (retd) Kuldip Singh,Advocate B R Gupta and Advocate P N Aggarwal.

A clean chit has also been given to Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and some other VVIPs. “Land owned by them was never owned or possessed by the State,the gram panchayat or any other public body,” reads the report.

Others given clean chit include retired IAS officers V K Khanna and Ajit Singh Chatha,former DGP Abhay Singh,IPS officer Surinder Singh’s wife Sharanjit Kaur and the Kairon family.

The committee was constituted by the High Court to look into land grab cases not just in Nayagaon and other villages on Chandigarh’s periphery,but in the entirety of Punjab.

Of the total 336 villages in the city’s periphery the Tribunal has perused records of eight villages. The eight are: Karoran,Kansal,Mirzapur,Bartana,Mirzapur,Mullanpur,Pallanpur and Chhoti Bari.

In Village Karoran (Nayagaon) it has been submitted by the Tribunal that “havoc is being caused on the spot where land is changing hands through various General Power of Attorneys and sale deeds. The share holders have sold their to different persons indiscriminately.

The largest numbers of shares were purchased by Col B S Sandhu,his family and his societies/ corporations. Apart from Col B S Sandhu,there are large numbers of other occupants who own farm houses etc illegally.”

Shockingly,the Tribunal has held that in one case,in a village in the city’s periphery,the then Director,Consolidation,Punjab made entries in record to become the beneficiary himself. The Tribunal has recommended action against Kuldip Singh,the then Director,Consolidation.

“We have prima facie come to the conclusion that in case of Kuldip Singh is the one who was the Director Consolidation in this case. Investigation should be initiated in his conduct and suitable action be taken,” reads the report.

Deals with Tata Housing Development Corporation

The Tribunal has cited the instance of land sold by Punjabi Cooperative House Building Society which had 95 politicians,legislators as its members,to Tata.

“We are citing this instance to show that the land which was illegally mutated in the names of right holders was purchased by various persons at throw away price and they further unduly enriched themselves by selling the same at exorbitant price. Similarly,the Working Women Welfare Society,the Punjabi House building Society,the Kansal Rural House Building Society,the Tribune Employees and Friends Welfare Society and the Defence Services Cooperative Society also sold their share of the Kansal land in question to the Tata Housing Development corporation,” reads the report.

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