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Amethi land row: Bicycle firm never owned land sold to Rajiv trust, rules court

Union Minister Smriti Irani questioned the sale of the land to the Rajiv Gandhi Trust and had accused the Gandhi family of "land-grabbing" .

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Updated: August 27, 2015 12:32:44 am
smriti irani, Rajiv gandhi trust, Amethi Rahul gandhi, Union Minister Smriti Irani questioned the sale of the land to the Rajib Gandhi Trust and had accused the Gandhi family of “land-grabbing”. (Source: PTI)

Two days after HRD Minister Smriti Irani accused the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) of grabbing farmers’ land given to Samrat Bicycle Ltd for setting up industry, the revenue court of Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Gauriganj, Amethi Wednesday declared that the land was recorded in the company’s name by mistake. The court said that it was following a clerical error that ownership of about 122 acres at Kauhar village — acquired by the UPSIDC — was recorded in the name of Samrat Bicycles, which actually was a “lease holder” of only 65.5 acres allotted to it.

While the SDM ordered the correction of revenue records in favour of UPSIDC as owner of the entire 122 acres, District Magistrate, Amethi, Jagatraj Tripathi said the order had no relation with the auction in favour of the RGCT, which took place through a liquidator under the orders of the high court.

However, the District Magistrate ordered an inquiry to find out whether it was mere a clerical mistake or a matter of forgery that recorded title of the land in the name of Samrat Bicycle Ltd.

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“The RGCT can now approach UPSIDC for taking over the land for the remaining lease period of about 61 years,” he said.

RS Pathak, the UPSIDC regional manager said, “Two cases are being mixed. Samrat Bicycle, which had taken 65.50 acres on lease for 90 years from the UPSIDC in 1986 later become sick following which a liquidator was appointed and auction was done on the orders of the High Court, which was won by the RGCT on February 27, 2015 and there are no questions on this auction.”

Pandey said that the farmers felt “that the industrial unit should be set up on the land and asked as to why it was given to the Trust.”

Appearing on behalf of the farmers, he had submitted that when UPSIDC had stated that the company got the land auctioned on the basis of fake ‘khatauni’, why it did not take any action.

District Magistrate Jagat Raj Tripathi said the action has been taken on the request letter of regional manager of UPSIDC R S Pathak.

When contacted, Pathak said that “now the land is clearly in account of UPSIDC”.

In a public meeting on August 23, Irani had raised the issue of sale of land after which Congress had said that her allegations were “wild and baseless”.

BJP must say sorry: Congress

The Congress on Wednesday sought an “unconditional apology” from the BJP for accusing the party of land grab in Amethi. Circulating copies of the SDM court’s order, the party claimed that the court had “upheld” the right of the Rajiv Gandhi trust as the “lessee of the land”.

“Correction of revenue record by SDM upholds the right of RGCT as a lessee of the land for remaining period of the 90 years lease,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

“Canards, half-truths and lies can never substitute true facts. We demand an unconditional apology from BJP for falsifying and projecting innuendoes and untruths with a view to misstate and malign,” he said.

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