The Punjab government has asked the Divisional Commissioner of Jalandhar to recover the amount of over Rs 11 lakh from IAS officer Suchha Ram Ladhar, who as the commissioner of Jalandhar and Patiala divisions, had charged over Rs 1 crore from farmers for arbitration to determine the compensation of the land acquired by the National Highways Authority of India.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday asked the Punjab government to file an affidavit on what action it intends to take against Ladhar in the case. During the resumed hearing of the case of the contempt petition filed by advocate Hari Chand Arora, the government counsel informed the court that the authorities in Jalandhar, through a letter dated July 21, have been asked to recover the money from the official.
The High Court, during the last hearing of the case, had asked the state government counsel to seek instructions as to why Rs 11,20,000 which the officer had said to have paid “as honorarium to regular staff working at in his office at the relevant time when he was posted as commissioner, Jalandhar Division” has not been returned.
An HC division bench, in a 2013 judgment, had directed the official to return the complete amount of the arbitration fee along with interest earned or received from the bank. Arora had filed a contempt petition in the HC in 2015 for failing to comply with the division bench directions.