SRINAGAR: In the much publicized Public Interest Litigation filed by Prof. S.K. Bhalla highlighting alleged hushing up of Chatta Sunjwan Land Scam, the Commissioner Secretary Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Muhammad Afzal has filed a status report in the State High Court wherein he has submitted that the Inquiry Officer (Regional Director Survey and Land Records Jammu) has submitted his inquiry report vide No.RDS&LR/J/16/59-63 dated May, 25, 2016 wherein it has been submitted that there is no denial of the fact that the tampering of the revenue records has not occurred. The Commissioner/Secretary, Revenue has also divulged in the status report that the serving officials identified by the Inquiry Officer vide his report dated May, 25, 2016 who have issued subsequent fard-e-intikhabs in the year 2005 namely Mohan Singh Patwari (presently Patwari Halqa Nonath, Samba) and Mohd. Iqbal Zargar presently Naib-Tehsildar Thathri, District Doda are being charge sheeted by the Financial Commissioner, Revenue who has been asked vide letter No.Rev/S/263 /2015 dated 06-06-2016 by the Revenue Department to initiate departmental action against the erring officials in terms of J&K CCA Rules, 1956. The status report further says that since Choudhary Aslam Din the then Naib-Tehsildar has already retired as such the inquiry officer did not recommend any departmental action against him.
The Inquiry Officer in his inquiry report has further submitted that the question of tracing out the persons having tampered the record is an issue to be looked into by the Investigating Officer during investigation by collecting evidence and using other scientific methods. But one thing is clear that if the fard intikhab has been initially issued in the year 1984 over Khasra No.1442 projecting it as a private land and then getting the document registered without any revalidation after a period of six years prima facie makes out a strong case to doubt the record wherein the tampering has occurred. It is for the reason that the fard intikhab in the ordinary course would not have been issued without showing the state land as private land. Not only this, even under what circumstances an old document of six years has been registered in the year 1990 is also suspicious and unjustified.
The Inquiry Officer has further submitted that the subsequent issuance of fard intikhabs on 04-01-2005 and 30-06-2005 are based upon the record available which has been tampered in such a smart manner that the cursory look or a bare perusal easily cannot detect it.
While parting with the inquiry, the Inquiry Officer has observed that it is only criminal investigation which can unfold the real module and identify the real culprits. However those who issued subsequent fard intikhabs in the year 2005 namely Mohd. Iqbal Zargar Patwari (now Naib-Tehsildar Thathri) and Madan Singh Patwari Sunjwan, Mohan Singh Patwari (presently Patwari Halqa Nonath, Tehsil and District Samba) and the Incharge Patwari Sunjwan at the most at this juncture can be charged with negligence and dereliction for having failed to peruse the entire record till it is proved otherwise. Choudhary Aslam Din Naib-Tehsildar has already retired and Mohd. Iqbal Zargar is presently Naib-Tehsildar and Mohan Singh Patwari.
It is worthwhile to mention herein that General Administration Department in the year 2008 had appointed Sudhanshu Pandey (IAS) the then Divisional Commissioner, Jammu as Inquiry Officer to probe the alleged hushing up of Chatta Sunjwan Land Scam and the said officer had been directed to file his inquiry report within 15 days. However Sudhanshu Pandey (IAS) failed to finalize the inquiry and subsequently Prof. S.K. Bhalla filed a Public Interest Litigation seeking reopening of the entire issue. The Division Bench looking into the callous attitude of the inquiry officer directed the then Divisional Commissioner, Jammu to enquire into the matter and submit his report to the Court. Accordingly Shantmanu (IAS) the then Divisional Commissioner, Jammu conducted enquiry into the matter and came out with mind boggling revelations confirming tampering of revenue records particularly in Khasra No.1442 wherein the land falling under said Khasra Number measuring 20 Kanals 15 Marlas was shown as private land when the land was actually State Land. The inquiry officer held that tampering has been done in the revenue records and recommended criminal investigation to unearth the fraud.
Based on the inquiry report of Shantmanu (IAS), the General Administration Department on the opinion of Law Department referred the matter to the Inspector General of Crime for a thorough probe into the matter and departmental action was also recommended against the erring revenue officials. (CNS)
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