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Enforcement Directorate seizes asset in Bikaner land grab PMLA case

In the FIR, it had named some Rajasthan government officials and some of the "land mafia". Vadra has denied any wrongdoing even as the Congress party had called the action "sheer political vendetta".

By: PTI | New Delhi |
Updated: April 20, 2018 3:55:52 am
Bikaner land grab PMLA case The ED had also issued notices to a firm linked to Robert Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

The ED has seized a land asset belonging to an accused in connection with its money laundering probe in the Bikaner alleged land grabbing case. The central probe agency had recently taken possession of the land in Rajasthan after it obtained the confirmation of its provisional attachment order in this case, against the property of Jai Prakash Bagarwa, by the Adjudicating Authority of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had attached assets worth a total of Rs 1.18 crore of government officials and others in April last year. The ED order was issued for attaching the property of private person Bagarwa, the then Patwaris of the area Uma Charan Sharma and Mahaveer Swami and the then Nayab Tehsildar Fakir Mohammad “who fraudulently allotted government land on the basis of forged allotment letters in the name of non-existing persons”.

The said land in the Kolayat area of state’s border district of Bikaner was meant for the “allotment of displaced persons” of the army’s Mahajan field firing range. The attached assets included agricultural land, plots, residential buildings, fixed deposits and bank balance of the accused.

The ED had registered a criminal case of money laundering in this deal in 2015 taking cognisance of FIRs filed by the state police after the local tehsildar had made a compliant of alleged forgery. The agency, in this case, had also issued notices to a firm linked to Robert Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

However, it has not mentioned the name of Vadra or any company linked to him in its FIR filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). In the FIR, it had named some Rajasthan government officials and some of the “land mafia”. Vadra has denied any wrongdoing even as the Congress party had called the action “sheer political vendetta”.

“During investigations it was revealed that with a view to grab government land under a criminal conspiracy Ranjit Singh and Jai Prakash Bagarwa stole some blank allotment letters with stamp on them from the colonisation department of Bikaner.

“Patwaris told Jai Prakash Bagarwa about the khasra number, rakba and village name of government land. The stolen material was used for preparing forged and fabricated allotment letters in the name of the alleged displaced persons of the Mahajan field firing range,” the ED had said earlier.

On the basis of these forged allotment letters, it had said, “1,422 bighas land was recorded in revenue record in the name of these fictitious allottees without due verification of these allotment letters from the colonisation department. “Jai Prakash Bagarwa and others prepared power of attorneys wherein the fictitious allottees appointed Kishore Singh, Ranjeet Singh and Gugangar as power of attorney holder of land authorising them to sell the land on their behalf.”

It said in this manner, “they (accused) had sold 1,372 bighas of impugned land to various individuals and companies and generated proceeds of crime.”

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