Sunday, February 12, 2017

3 SAD leaders among 12 booked in Hsr land acquisition scam.

Times of India: Jalandar: I. P. Singhi: Sunday, February 12, 2017.
A PCS officer, a tehsildar, a naib tehsildar and three Hoshiarpur-based SAD leaders have been booked among others by vigilance bureau (VB) in connection with the Hoshiarpur land acquisition scam for widening/four-laning of Jalandhar-Chintpurni national highway, which allegedly caused a loss of around Rs 100 crore to the state exchequer.
A case has been registered at the economic offences wing police station of the VB in Ludhiana on February 12. Confirming the development, VB SSP Rupinder Singh said that the case had been registered on the directions of the bureau's chief director, who accepted the report of a special investigation team constituted to probe the scam.
Officials named in the case include the then Hoshiarpur SDM, Anand Sagar Sharma, who played a pivotal role in the scam, the then tehsildar Baljinder Singh, naib tehsildar Manjit Singh, patwaris Daljit Singh and Parminder Singh, along with two clerks. The SAD leaders named in the case are councillor Harpinder Singh Gill, district cooperative bank chairman Satwinderpal Singh Dhatt and Hoshiarpur Market Committee chairman Avtar Singh Johal, apart from Hoshiarpur residents Parteek Gupta and Jaswinderpal Singh. A total 12 accused have been named in the case.
They have been charged for criminal breach of trust by officials, cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy under Sections 409, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC. Provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act have also been invoked in the case.
Sharma was a competent authority with regard to land acquisition. He was later shifted to Gidderbaha after the scam was exposed by Hoshiarpur-based RTI activist Rajiv Vashisht, who had sent a complaint to the Prime Minister.
Windfall gains were made by private persons by registering sale deeds in the names of these local leaders, colonizers and their relatives' even as notification for land acquisition had already been issued. The chunks of the agriculture land purchased by them were shown as part of residential colonies and the compensation was thus awarded several times higher than the adjoining agriculture land.
The VB probe was ordered by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in June last year after the Prime Minister's office (PMO) took cognizance of Vashisht's complaint and forwarded it to Punjab additional chief secretary NS Kalsi, asking him to hold a probe and send a report. The CM had given six weeks to complete the probe, which was later extended.