Opposing the Judicial Tribunals recommendation for a CBI probe into the alleged illegal properties owned by high-ups in the periphery,the Punjab government has agreed to re-open cases of fraud.
Action will be taken against officers/officials of the Revenue and Consolidation Departments who are found to be involved, the state has said.
This was conveyed to the Punjab and Haryana High Court by Punjab in response to a status report filed by the Judicial Tribunal,headed by Justice (retd) Kuldip Singh,probing illegal properties owned by influential people including bureaucrats and politicians in the periphery. The report,recommending a CBI probe,was submitted last week by the tribunal.
An affidavit was filed on Monday by Financial Commissioner (Revenue) N S Kang. The case of fraud to be re- opened will be heard by the High Court. The tribunal,in its preliminary probe,had found several instances involving fraud played by government authorities in connivance with private parties.
In one of such cases,the tribunal had indicted former Director Consolidation of Holdings,Punjab. The then director not only passed an illegal order by returning shamlat deh land to the landowners but also later purchased around six acres of land from two owners. To top it all,to make it appear that the director was one of the original landowners,the revenue records were interpolated. The tribunal had recommended action against the retired IAS officer,Kuldip Singh Minhas.
The state has also agreed to the tribunals suggestion regarding constitution of a special bench in the High Court to monitor the cases in such matters.
Also,as recommended by the tribunal,special officers with powers of State government under Section 42 of the East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act,1948 and powers of the Collector will be appointed for each district to deal with cases relating to illegal occupation,acquisition and alienation etc of mushtarka malkan lands and shamlat/panchayat lands respectively.
Petitions filed under the above Acts,whether pending or filed in future,will be heard by these officers.