Monday, May 14, 2001,  Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Naib Tehsildar placed under suspension
Auction of Dhirendra Brahmachari’s land
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, May 13
The Haryana Government today placed the local Naib Tehsildar, Mr Suresh Kumar, under suspension with immediate effect for alleged irregularities in connection with the auction of a prime piece of land here which belonged to Dhirendra Brahmachari, supposed to be close to late Indira Gandhi.

The intervention by the district administration has averted a land scam running into more than Rs 5 crore.

The administration has decided to take further “corrective” action. Although it could not be immediately ascertained, reports have it that the auction will be reorganised.

As per the suspension order issued by the Commissioner, Mr Suresh Kumar, would be entitled to subsistence allowance as admissible under Rule 7.2 of the Punjab Civil Service Rules, (Vol-1,Part-1). His headquarters during the period of suspension has been shifted to the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Narnaul, and he will not leave the headquarters without obtaining the prior permission of the competent authority.

Mr Suresh Kumar could not be contacted for comments.

About five acres and three kanals of more than the 30-acre land belonging to the former godman was attached by the court for realisation of about Rs 21 lakh dues to the New Bank of India, which has now merged with Punjab National Bank. The auction to realise the dues was carried out on April 12, 2001.

According to estimates, the market value of the entire land attached by the court to be auctioned was more than Rs 5 crore. But the highest bid in the auction, which was carried out on May 4, was only Rs 35,50,000.

The administration has taken the view that the auction has been “fraudulently” conducted and there did not seem to be any “genuineness” about it.

The administration has also taken cognisance of the wide ranging allegations that proper publicity was not done for the auction. Also, as per the directive of the court, the proclamation regarding auction was to be done on April 20, 2001. As per the copy of the report of “roznamcha waqayati” of the patwari, the proclamation was held to be defective. It allegedly did not specify the day, time and place of auction, in the absence of which proclamation is meaningless.

Also, a copy of the proclamation was not affixed on a conspicuous part of the property, of the court house, in the office of the District Collector and of the gram panchayat. The higher echelons of the administration is of the view that when the auction was conducted to realise the bank dues of more than Rs 21 lakh, the property to be auctioned was worth several times the amount, a publicity was required for a fair auction and imbue the administrative measure with transparency. The authorities are of the view that when the highest bid was very low, the naib tehsildar should not have accepted and conducted the auction to protect the interests of the judgement debtor/owners of the land. Also, the auction price is far less than the Collector rates, which are suggestive and normally on the lower side of the actual market price.

The administration also took serious note of the accused officer allegedly failing to inform the concerned authorities concerned of the result of the auction in time and reported only on inquiry after a week.

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