Another Bansal kin under scanner: Vijay Singla's father allegedly involved in land fraud

After Vijay Singla, his father and brother-in-law of Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, Mithan Lal Singla, is under the scanner for allegedly striking a "deal" with the Punjab government to get over 21 acres of common panchayat land at a throwaway price.

Also, while the original lease deed read that it was leased to a Trust for 99 years, the copy supplied to the state government mentioned this period as 33 years. Despite the high court being seized of the matter, the authorities "corrected" the original document. The HC has reprimanded Punjab government for making an "attempt to overreach the court", and sought explanation from the concerned officer. The court has stayed construction in all such cases where panchayat land has been given to private parties to earn profits.

This came to light from a petition pending in the HC, which came up for resumed hearing on Tuesday. It was filed by Harshinder Singh, through advocate Navkiran Singh.

It alleges that Jagan Tubes Limited jointly owned by Mithan Lal Singla and other family members decided to venture into education and accordingly, created JTL Education Foundation in 2010. They filed an application requesting government to lease 21.26 acres of land in Sanauli village, Dera Bassi, for construction of G D Goenka International school. Without holding an auction, it has been alleged, the land was leased for 33 years for Rs 30,000 per acre annually. The petitioner has alleged that going by the rate prevalent during that period, this amount should have been Rs 6 lakh per acre annually. Terming it a fraud, Singh has requested the HC to send the two copies of official records to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory to find out which one is fudged.

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