Stating that the land sold to Jauhar Trust, headed by beleaguered SP MP Azam Khan, has flouted the UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, a Revenue Board court in Prayagraj has directed the government to take over around 100 bighas of land in Rampur allegedly purchased from 12 Dalit farmers under coercion.
Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, whose chancellor is Azam Khan, has been built on the land. Established in 2006, the university is spread over 500 acres.
Sections 155-AA and 131-B of the Act bar small land-owning Dalits from transferring their land to non-Scheduled Castes, and if they do, it has to be approved by the district administration.
“In short, what is sought to be conveyed is that an institution/society may be a person but cannot be a person of no caste. The transfer of land in the present case as such is by Scheduled Caste persons to a person other than a scheduled caste. No such transfer could have been made by the said scheduled caste persons in favour of the institution/society (petitioners) that has no caste,” stated the order passed on January 14.
The order, passed by Revenue Board member Bhavna Srivastava’s court, said, “The transfer made by the gift deed in this case is without approval of the assistant collector. Therefore, it is in violation of sub section (4) of Section 157-AA of the Act.” The order further said such land transfers should be handed over the government.
The court also quashed the order of the Moradabad Commissioner court which had granted permission for sale of the land in 2013, said officials. Rampur District Magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar Singh said the was undertaken by a few proxies of Jauhar Trust.
“Because the people (12 Dalit farmers) had small land, it was not permitted. And if the sale does happen, a written permission is required from the district administration. All these norms were flouted,” said Singh.
Asked if the district administration had started the process of taking over the land, Singh said, “No, we have not started it yet. We are waiting for a copy of the court order. And once we get it, we will start proceedings.”
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