Sale of forest land: Punjab Vigilance Bureau probes role of arrested former forest minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot

Land that was already locked under section 4 and 5 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) was shown as non-forest and purchased at ten times the actual rates

Sale of forest land: Punjab Vigilance Bureau probes role of arrested former forest minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot

Sadhu Singh Dharamsot. Tribune file

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29 

In the multi-crore scam involving fraudulent sale of 54 acres of reserved forest land to the forest department, shown as non-forest land, Punjab Vigilance Bureau is probing the role of arrested former Forest Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot in the case. 

In the case, private persons allegedly connived with forest officials to purchase land at inflated rates for afforestation, two years ago. The land that was already locked under section 4 and 5 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) was shown as non-forest and purchased at ten times the actual rates. 

Only yesterday, the police has registered an FIR against three private persons and the Forest Department has charge-sheeted four IFS officers in connection with fraudulent purchase of land by Punjab Forest Corporation. It is being seen whether the Minister and then Secretary, Forests, gave approval to purchase of land at inflated rates. 

Taking a serious note of the case, the former ACS (Forests), Seema Jain had directed the department to charge sheet the erring forest officials and FIR against the persons who sold the land to the forest corporation. Not only this, another tender for purchase of 600 acres of land for forestry purpose by Punjab Forest Corporation in Sultanpur Lodhi was cancelled in November last year by previous Forest Minister Sangat Singh Gilzian.

Sources said the record of the case has already been sought by the Vigilance Bureau. It is being seen whether the approval of rates for purchase of the land was given at the level of the then forest minister Dharamsot and the then Administrative Secretary of the Department.  

As per the procedure, the department floats tenders for purchase of land. A purchase committee comprising representative of the PCCF, MD (Forest Corporation), Finance and Revenue scrutinize the bids. Then a site inspection committee comprising concerned DFO, DM of Forest Corporation, representative of the PCCF finalize the land to be acquired before seeking approval of the government for purchase of the land.

 

#sadhu singh dharamsot

Tribune Shorts


Top News

Nitin Gadkari, Shivraj Singh Chauhan dropped as BJP reconstitutes 2 top decision-making bodies

Nitin Gadkari, Shivraj Singh Chauhan dropped as BJP reconstitutes 2 top decision-making bodies

Sudha Yadav, Iqbal Singh Lalpura included in both key commit...

Political parties can't be prevented from making poll promises, says Supreme Court

Political parties can't be prevented from making poll promises, says Supreme Court

Term ‘freebie’ should not be confused with genuine welfare m...

Lashkar terrorist killed, cop injured during weapon recovery operation near international border in Jammu

Lashkar terrorist killed, cop injured during weapon recovery operation near international border in Jammu

Terrorist lodged in Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal jail was taken to sp...

Huge explosion hits Kabul mosque, many casualties feared

Huge explosion hits Kabul mosque, many casualties feared

Witnesses say powerful explosion heard in a northern Kabul n...

Cities

View All