Ambala Divisional Commissioner ‘lifted’ bar to let kin buy disputed land : The Tribune India

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Ambala Divisional Commissioner ‘lifted’ bar to let kin buy disputed land

Chief Secretary had restricted officials from registering transfer deeds

Ambala Divisional Commissioner ‘lifted’ bar to let kin buy disputed land

Picture for representational purpose only.



Tribune News Service

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Chandigarh, April 1

As Chief Secretary-cum-Financial Commissioner Revenue, TVSN Prasad, has restrained registration of transfer deeds in Panchkula tehsil after a controversial order passed by Ambala Divisional Commissioner Renu Phulia over a 14-acre land, it has now been revealed that it was her husband Satyavir Singh Phulia and son Neelanchal who were purchasing the property.

Controversy over 14 acres in Panchkula

  • The 14 acres in question were part of the land inherited by the legal heirs of Bhagwant Singh, who was the owner of around 1,396 acres across seven villages in Panchkula
  • Ambala Divisional Commissioner Renu Phulia in her order had observed that Prithvi Raj Chabbra, his sister Shashi Gulati (ex-IAS), and Sunil Kumar Gulati (ex-IAS) were “absolute property owners in the revenue record. They had bought the land from the legal heirs of Bhagwant Singh”
  • She revoked a stay imposed by Collector Agrarian, dated September 18, 2003, on the transfer of land
  • Then, two sale deeds were executed for selling land to Phulia’s husband and son

Satyavir Singh Phulia serves as Information Commissioner in Haryana.

The Chief Secretary issued the directions on March 29 after DC Panchkula had written to him for “guidance” following the Renu Phulia's order, dated September 13, 2023. The DC had approached the Chief Secretary after he received a request from Naib Tehsildar in the matter. The Tribune had broken the story on March 31.

The 14 acre land in question was part of the land inherited by the legal heirs of Bhagwant Singh who was the owner of around 1,396 acres in seven villages Beed Babupur, Beed Firozadi, Bhareli, Sangrana, Barwala, Jaloloi, Fatehpur Viran. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the Collector Agrarian, Panchkula, to re-determine the surplus area as per law as it vests with the government on February 24, 2023.

“Consequent to revoking the stay order (by Commissioner Ambala Division), a plethora of sale deeds are likely to be presented soon, due to which there is a possibility of creation of third party interests and jeopardising of government interest. Since the matter is sub judice in the court of Collector Agrarian, Panchkula, and the permissible area is yet to be determined, surplus area vests with the government," said Naib Tehsildar, in his letter dated March 27, to DC.

Renu Phulia in her order had observed that Prithvi Raj Chabbra, his sister Shashi Gulati (ex-IAS), and Sunil Kumar Gulati (ex-IAS) were “absolute property owners in the revenue record. They had bought the land from the legal heirs of Bhagwant Singh”. She revoked a stay imposed by Collector Agrarian, dated September 18, 2003, on the transfer of land and removed any embargo on any document they presented for registration.

Then on March 28, two sale deeds were executed. One was between Chabbra and Satyavir Singh Phulia, his son Neelanchal, Usha Rani, a resident of Kurukshetra, and Shubham Juneja, a resident of Manimajra Complex (Chandigarh) for sale of 47 kanal and 19 marlas for Rs 2.57 crore. It included payments through cheques of Rs 7 lakh dated June 20, 2023, Rs 10 lakh dated June 22, 2023, and Rs 7 lakh, dated June 22, 2023, before the order of Ambala Divisional Commissioner.

Another was between ex-IAS Shashi Gulati and Satyavir Singh Phulia, his son Neelanchal, Usha Rani and Shubham Juneja for the sale of 47 kanal and 19 marlas for Rs 2.69 crore. It included payments through cheques of Rs 7 lakh, dated June 20, 2023, Rs 8 lakh, dated June 21, 2023, and Rs 9 lakh dated June 22, 2023, before the order of Ambala Divisional Commissioner.

When contacted, Renu Phulia said, “There is nothing wrong with the sale deeds. I had taken permission for the purchase of property. My husband (Satyavir Singh Phulia) too had informed about the deal to Chief Information Commissioner (CIC). We had paid in white. I had withdrawn money from GPF. The sale deeds were of March 28. My reasoned order on vacating the stay over the land was delivered on September 13, 2023.”

On March 29, the Chief Secretary had passed the directions for restraining the registration of such transfer deeds in Panchkula tehsil.

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