PUNJAB DGP Suresh Arora informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday that a Special Investigating Team (SIT) had been constituted to probe the alleged usurping of panchayat land by an alleged IPS officer at Khizrabad village of Mohali on the basis of fake court orders, and the inquiry would take two months’ time to complete.
The submissions were made during the resumed hearing of a bunch of petitions before a division bench headed by Justice Surya Kant. The complaint was purportedly sent by one Gurdev Singh of Khizrabad alleging that one DIG Jora Singh had grabbed the panchayat land.
The DGP informed the court that a four-member SIT, headed by DIG (Investigation) A K Mittal, was holding a probe into the case and statements of 25 persons had been recorded to date. It was said that so far, no person by the name of Gurdev Singh had been found to be a resident of Khizrabad or currently residing in Moti Bagh, New Delhi. The allegations that Jora Singh is DIG in police department were found incorrect as Jora Singh is an NRI who had been provided security by Punjab Police but in view of the ongoing inquiry, the security has been withdrawn. It was informed that Jora Singh owns 19 acres of land and his relatives own another 16 acres of land.
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The court was informed that the SIT had received a letter on April 25, written in Punjabi, that DIG Jora Singh had usurped shamlat land of Khizrabad in connivance with Patwari Swaran Singh and Jora Singh had obtained a loan of Rs 3.75 crore against that land. It has also been alleged that Jora Singh has usurped the land of various villagers on the basis of fake court orders. On this, the court ordered the authorities to check the assets and role of tehsildar and one more revenue official who are also in-charge of Khizrabad and whose names have come up in the case.
Also, on the earlier date of hearing, the court had observed that 193 mutations had been entered on the basis of sale transactions of the land recorded under the ownership of shamlat deh hasab rasad jar khewat of Khizrabad and more than 35,000 mutations had been entered in respect of the similar land of Karoran village since January 16, 1995, and 173 such mutations were sanctioned in case of Nada village.
The court had raised the question as to whether such lands could be sold or possessed by the residents of the village.
The court also asked the Punjab government up to what extent it was going to implement the recommendation of Justice (retd) Kuldip Singh Tribunal wherein instances of alleged land-grabbing by some senior police officers, bureaucrats and politicians on Chandigarh’s periphery have been pointed out. In two interim reports submitted by the High Court-constituted Tribunal in 2013 about 65 villages on Chandigarh’s periphery, it was pointed out that thousands of acres of shamlat (government) land were being grabbed “right under the nose of authorities” by politicians, bureaucrats, police officers and others.
The court adjourned the case for July 7.