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Pune: Govt auctions disputed land in Katraj for Rs 21.25 lakh

Documents accessed by The Indian Express reveal a curious story behind Shinde’s complaint. The land originally belonged to Ajmersingh Lakshmansingh Ramgadiya, and a few others.

Written by Chandan Haygunde | Pune | Published: July 19, 2019 2:56:38 am
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A Pune man who purchased a parcel of land in a government auction for Rs 21.25 lakh has now complained that he has been denied permission of the land and his money too was not being refunded.

Yogesh Kisanrao Shinde, a resident of Bibvewadi, said he had purchased the land, located at the foot of a hillock in Katraj, last year.

Documents accessed by The Indian Express reveal a curious story behind Shinde’s complaint. The land originally belonged to Ajmersingh Lakshmansingh Ramgadiya, and a few others. The owners of the land had been slapped with a fine of Rs 23.58 lakh by the office of Tehsildar, Haveli, in 2012 for carrying out excavation work at the site without obtaining permission from relevant authorities.

The owners had appealed against the decision in the office of the sub-divisional officer (SDO) in April 2014, claiming that the fine had been calculated wrongly. On July 27 last year, the court of Jyoti Kadam, SDO, passed an order in favour of the owners. As per this order, the fine imposed by the Tehsildar was cancelled, and a reinvestigation was directed with the objective of re-calculating the fine.

However, days before the court of SDO gave its order, the district administration decided to auction the land for non-payment of the fine. An advertisement for the auctions of attached properties was published in two Marathi dailies on July. 2, 2018. This included the parcel of land at Katraj, whose reserve price was kept at Rs 19.95 lakh. The auction took place on July 20.

Shinde said he had bid for the 5000 square feet land because he wanted to set up a workshop for his furniture business. “I got to know about this advertisement… and realised that the land in Katraj, within the limits of Pune city, could be a good place for my workshop. I took part in the auction and won the bid after quoting Rs 21.25 lakh. I paid the entire money as per norms within the specified time and got all the receipts,” he said.

“On October 10, 2018, the Tehsildar, Haveli passed an order asking the circle officer and Talathi, Katraj to complete the procedure for giving me the possession of the land. A few days later, I received a letter informing me that possession will be granted on October 24, 2018. But when I went on the land in Katraj on that day, the previous owners said the court of SDO had waived their dues in July itself and so possession of the land remained with them. I was also given a copy of the order of the court,” he said.

Shinde said since then he had been writing to concerned government offices and meeting authorities, asking for his money to be refunded with interest, or an alternate piece of land to start his workshop. “I had to struggle a lot for raising the money for purchasing the land. I have been visiting every relevant government office now for the past few months, but have received neither the money nor the land,” he said.

At the site in Katraj, Gamdursingh, who claimed to be one of the owners of the land, said that it was wrong of the government to have auctioned the land when the matter was still pending in the court. “We had bought this land around 1988. We run a workshop here for welding works and it is our break and butter,” he said.

Recently, following the appeals by issued by Shinde, the current Tehsildar, Haveli, Sunil Koli on June 12, 2019, wrote to the district collector for Mining Department that an order be passed for returning his money. When contacted, Sanjay Bamane, district collector (mining department) said. “Inquiry of the case is being done and appropriate action will be taken.”

Meanwhile, Ajit Abhyankar, leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has taken up the case of Shinde and sought an explanation from Revenue Minister Chandrkantdada Patil in this matter. Abhyankar submitted a letter to the Pune district collector today threatening an agitation if action was not taken against the concerned government officials within the next seven days. The letter also demands that Shinde be paid compensation for the physical and mental harassment that he has gone through.

“Had this happened in case of any other sale of land it would have invited criminal action under IPC 420 against the seller. This matter must be thoroughly enquired into and the concerned officers be punished with criminal liability,” Abhyankar told The Indian Express.

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