Land disputes are not new to Gurgaon, but this one has left the Haryana Police perplexed. They have to find the real “Charanjeet Singh” out of 13 people from Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, each one of whom claims to be the owner of an 8-acre plot on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, worth Rs 400 crore.
Meanwhile, the man who the authorities believe is the actual Charanjeet Singh could be dead, along with his wife, leaving no legal heirs. A criminal case has been registered at Gurgaon’s Sector 37 police station on a complaint filed by Gurgaon-based RTI activist Ramesh Yadav under IPC sections dealing with impersonation, cheating, fraud, forgery, and criminal conspiracy. But police are struggling to trace or question the men because of the lockdown.
Six of the claimants are named Charanjeet Singh, and each one of them claims to be the son of “Nandi Singh” — as mentioned in the revenue records. These men are based in Uttar Pradesh (Pilibhit), Punjab (Patiala, Anandpur Sahib) and Uttarakhand (Udham Singh Nagar).
A seventh claimant, Gurnam Singh, says he is the son of Charanjeet Singh.
The remaining six have either cited a General Power of Attorney or a registered will or sale agreement in their favour. These men are Hari Mohan Singh, Gajender Singh, Harish Ahuja, Dilip, Ravinder Singh and Manish Bhardwaj. All are based in either Gurgaon or Delhi.
The revenue records of Gurgaon mention the owners of the land as Charanjeet Singh, son of Nandi Singh, and his wife Manjeet Kaur, residents of Greater Kailash, New Delhi. They have not been traced so far.
The land, measuring 64.14 kanals (approximately 8 acres), in Narsinghpur village on Delhi-Jaipur NH-48, was acquired on August 7, 2014 by the then Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led government. The acquisition was for the purpose of creating a transport and communication zone, and the land was handed over by the Land Acquisition Officer, Urban Estate, to the Haryana Shahri Vikas Pradhikaran, formerly Haryana Urban Development Authority or HUDA).
At the time, as per Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act, the owner was awarded compensation of Rs 44.01 crore. However, the deal was stuck as owners of other plots of land acquired for the same project went to court demanding enhanced compensation. Eventually, after a couple of years, this was done, and the 8-acre plot became worth over Rs 200 crore. Its value is around Rs 400 crore now, after accounting for interest.
“The amount will keep going up until the FIR reaches a conclusion and the court finally finds the actual Charanjeet Singh,” Yadav said.
The case had been handed over to the Additional District Judge for adjudication on June 5, 2018 by the then Gurgaon Land Acquisition Collector. Yadav said it was curious that while all the 13 claimants have approached the court, “none of them has demanded any criminal action against the others”. He said he had stumbled upon the case during his frequent visits to courts over RTI cases.
In his complaint to police, Yadav has said that “it is heard that the actual Charanjeet Singh, S/o Sh. Nandi Singh and his wife Manjeet Kaur, actual owners of the land, expired long back without any legal heirs”.
A senior Haryana officer privy to the details of the case called it “peculiar”. “We will wait for what the police investigation reveals and then take action. It is up to the actual owner to claim compensation.”
The SHO of Gurgaon Sector 37 police station, Narender Singh, told The Indian Express, “Our teams went to New Delhi to trace the actual Charanjeet Singh, but could not find him. It is not clear if he is alive or dead. It is presumed that he might be no more, otherwise he would have sought criminal action against the others.”
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