M A I N   N E W S

Panel finds evidence of land grab on Chandigarh periphery
Calls for fast-track courts Reopening of old cases Gives clean chit to Badals
Saurabh Malik/TNS

Chandigarh, March 14
In a damning interim report submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the illegal acquisition of property in the periphery of Chandigarh, Justice Kuldip Singh panel has minced no words to say “thousands of acres have either been grabbed or are in process of being grabbed”.

The panel has also placed directors and additional directors, consolidation, in the dock for passing illegal and fraudulent orders after entering into collusion with revenue officers and “right holders”.

It has also found faults with certain mutations in Kansal and Karoran villages around Chandigarh, where Punjab’s Director-General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini also owns a chunk of land.

At the same time, the panel has, on the basis of a preliminary inquiry, virtually gave Sukhbir Badal and others a clean chit. It asserted that the land owned by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and some other “VIPs” was never owned or possessed by the state, the gram panchayat or any other public body”.

The panel has also recommended reopening of cases, where orders of the civil courts, consolidation and revenue authorities were prima facie illegal and based on fraud, collusion and conspiracy. The setting up of special fast-track courts to deal with land cases has been also recommended.

The committee was constituted by the high court to look into land-grab cases not just in Nayagaon and other villages on Chandigarh’s periphery, but the entire state of Punjab. As its first step, the panel has concentrated on “land within the periphery of Chandigarh”. Out of 360 odd villages, it has looked into the revenue records of eight villages, including Karoran, Kansal, Mirzapur and Mullanpur Garibdass.

The panel has asserted that several cases have come to its knowledge, where government authorities displayed indifferent attitude towards patent fraud being committed.

It added that the work of protecting panchayat, government or public land could not be left to government authorities. As such, special offices with the powers of collectors and commissioners, in terms of special Acts on land matters, should be created in each district as executive courts or authorities. To be set up on the lines of fast-track courts, these should deal with pending and fresh cases involving land laws, the panel suggested.

It also recommended the appointment of a special attorney in each district for dealing with such cases on behalf of the panchayat or public authorities before the special courts. “The orders of civil courts/consolidation and revenue authorities, which were prima facie illegal and based on fraud/collusion and conspiracy, though never challenged, should be reopened and decided afresh by the high court, which may consider special Bench to monitor such cases,” the panel suggested.

Officials of the revenue and consolidation department found involved during the investigation be suitably punished, it added.

The panel said it had almost completed the examination of record and would take some more time before finally submitting a report on 60 “so-called VIPs”.

Referring to the land owned by the Punjab Deputy Chief Minister, the panel said: “It is evident that the land owned by Sukhbir Singh Badal was never owned or possessed by the state, gram panchayat or any public authority”.

Others so far found clean in the matter include retired IAS officers VK Khanna and Ajit Singh Chatha, former DGP Abhay Singh, IPS officer Surinder Singh’s wife Sharanjit Kaur and the Kairon family.


  • Says land owned by Punjab Dy CM and other “VIPs” was never owned by the state, gram panchayats or any other public body
  • Recommends reopening of cases, where orders of the civil courts, consolidation and revenue authorities were prima facie illegal and based on fraud
  • Tata Camelot project under judicial scanner again





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