3 IAS, Revenue Officials in Vigilance Net

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JAMMU: State Vigilance Organization today registered an FIR against a number of senior functionaries of Revenue Department, an influential businessman and a liquor baron from Jammu in Roshni Land Scam.

The scam is second biggest scandal after Gulmarg Land Scam in which senior IAS officers are facing prosecution under prevention of Corruption Act for illegally conferring ownership rights to the land mafia at world famous ski resort.

Roshni Land Scam has surfaced recently and the State Vigilance Organization has registered an FIR vide number 6/2014 against the senior functionaries of Revenue Department and the beneficiary- a highly influential businessman and liquor baron Bansi Lal Gupta of Gandhi Nagar Jammu.

Reliable sources said that a complaint was lodged by prominent social activist Professor S.K.Bhalla against the liquor baron and senior IAS officer then posted in Jammu for conferring ownership rights in respect of land measuring 5 kanals and 2 marlas comprised in khasra number 781 situated at village Deeli (Marble Market) Jammu.

On receipt of the complaint, SVO initiated verification and found that the beneficiary Gupta was not having any khasra gridwari (Revenue extraction) with regard to the said land and as per Roshni Act, this was sufficient for the Revenue officers to reject the case.

During verification it was also found that the government of Jammu and Kashmir had transferred land measuring 154 kanals and 5 marlas in khasra number 781 way back in 2004 and there was an entry in the name of Jammu Development Authority (JDA) in ownership column, but the Patwari concerned did not mention that the girdawari for the land in question has not been made in the name of the applicant (beneficiary). It was also found during verification that land in question was belonging to JDA and was exempted from the preview of the Roshni scheme.

The then District Collector of Jammu vide order number DCJ/HQA/Roshni/08/676-77 dated 9/6/2008 conferred ownership rights for this land in favour of the beneficiary. This order of ownership was passed after the price determination committee headed by then Divisional Commissioner Jammu determined the market value of the said land.

Although, SVO has only indicated that the FIR has been first registered against officers and officials of Revenue department Jammu and officers of JDA but the reliable sources said that the then Divisional Commissioner Jammu Sudhanshu Pandey, the then Deputy Commissioner Jammu Hirdesh Kumar Singh, the then Vice Chairperson JDA Sarita Chouhan and other Revenue officers are in the vigilance net.

The investigation of the case has been started and the FIR has been formally registered under section 5 (1) (d) read with section 5 (2) Prevention of Corruption Act 2006 and section 120 B RPC and section 17 of J&K State Land (vesting of ownership to the occupants) Act 2001 and the investigation has been entrusted to Rajesh Sharma Inspector Jammu wing of Police Station Vigilance Organization Jammu.  (CNS)

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