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Monday, June 14, 2021

Vigilance Bureau arrests 4 more in multi-cr land scam

With this, 11 persons, including four revenue officials, have been booked in the case till date.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh, Mohali |
May 10, 2021 5:11:59 am
In November last year, the VB had blown the lid off a similar case pertaining to transfer of land in Karoran village in the same district.

THE VIGILANCE Bureau (VB) has arrested four more persons as part of a crackdown on land mafia who took over plots worth crores in an illegal manner, a senior officer said on Sunday. With this, 11 persons, including four revenue officials, have been booked in the case till date.

Those arrested were identified as Iqbal Singh Patwari, Ravinder Singh, Paramjit Singh and Hansraj (all private individuals).They were remanded in police custody for three days, the officer said.

VB Director B K Uppal said some property dealers and “land mafia” had manipulated revenue records during the process of division/mutation of land in Majrian village, in Majri tehsil, in connivance with revenue officials and transferred ownership in Khewat numbers vis-à-vis transferred land to known beneficiaries to make huge profits by using illegal ways through the power of attorney.

In November last year, the VB had blown the lid off a similar case pertaining to transfer of land in Karoran village in the same district.

After looking into revenue records of Majrian village, a case under sections 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and 409, 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 477-A, 201(destruction of evidence), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered at Police Station Vigilance Bureau, Flying Squad-1, Mohali.

He said the accused were identified as Naib Tehsildar Varinderpal Singh Dhoot, Joint Sub-Registrar Rupinder Singh Manku, Daulat Ram and Iqbal Singh (Both patwaris). As many as seven private individuals – Shyam Lal and Hans Raj, both residents of village Majrian (Patti Guda), Rabbi Singh of Karoran village, Dharam Pal from Amloh in Fatehgarh Sahib, Sucha Ram of Kaimbala village, UT Chandigarh, Paramjit Singh of Hardaspura village, Patiala and Ravinder Singh Sodha village, Fatehgarh Sahib – were also found to be involved in the land scam.

Investigation revealed that in 1983-1984, around 29,000 kanals of land were shown as ‘shamlat’ (common land) under Hasbat number 343 out of the total area of Majrian village. In 1991, this land was transferred in the name of locals through mutation number 2,026 as per the orders of the consolidation officer. Of this plot, 7,113 kanal land has been found to be distributed through mutation number 3,159. The probe showed that nearly 558 acres were registered in 14 fake names by tampering with the mutation number 3159.

In 2010-11, the land was allotted to Shyam Lal and Hansraj, both property dealers and alleged “land sharks”, residents of Majrian village, Sucha Ram, Rabbi Singh and Dharampal resident of Amloh in connivance with the revenue officials including Patwari Iqbal Singh, Naib Tehsildar Rupinder Manku etc., thereby they further sold the above land to others persons through the power of attorney in 2010-11.

VB officials said that 10 fake transfers of around 578 acres were found to be done on June 18 and 19 June, 2014, and the original documents under which these transfers were implemented were removed from revenue department records. The mutations of these bogus transfers were verified by Patwari Daulat Ram and the then Naib Tehsildar Varinderpal Singh Dhoot. Through these illegal transfers, these lands were sold to the different persons through various land executions by Babu Ram, Ravinder Singh, Paramjit Singh, Shyam Lal, etc.

V B chief Uppal said a fake division case for 43 persons was prepared and approved on December 20, 2017, with the collusion of Patwari Daulat Ram, Naib Tehsildar Varinderpal Singh Dhoot, and property dealers Shyam Lal resident of Guda Majri. No prior notice was given to any petitioner or respondent in this bogus division case, nor was power of attorney of any lawyer attached to the file. In this connection, a fake advertisement was used which was published in sections of the media on April 14, 2014.

After approval of this case, Patwari Daulat Ram on the very next day of the division on (December 21, 2017), registered the mutation number 4,895 which was approved by Naib Tehsildar Varinderpal Singh Dhoot on December 27 the same year. Further investigation was underway in the case, said Uppal.

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