Bhushans get two prime plots from Mayawati govt for a song

Shanti Bhushan

The political class may be evil and corrupt but that's whom Shanti Bhushan and his son Jayant Bhushan turn to when they want a farmhouse each — for a song.

In his declaration of assets last week, Shanti Bhushan, also co-chairman of the drafting committee of the Lokpal Bill, mentioned a 10,000 sq m farmland plot in Noida.

What he did not mention was the discretionary manner in which the Mayawati government, early this year, allotted this land to him and another 10,000 sq m farmhouse plot to his lawyer son Jayant Bhushan. And in what raises questions of conflict of interest, Jayant Bhushan has appeared against Mayawati in the Noida statue park case.

Incidentally, discretionary land allotment by the government is a key issue on the agenda of the Group of Ministers on corruption.

In fact, this allotment of Noida farmland is now the subject matter of a case in the Allahabad High Court filed by another allottee, former Additional Solicitor General Vikas Singh.

Calling for the cancellation of the allotments, he has alleged that he was allotted the "worst" piece of farmland as "punishment" since he had shot off several complaints on the "arbitrary" manner in which the farmland was being allotted.

The cost of each farmhouse plot is Rs 3.5 crore and allottees had to pay just 10% — Rs 35 lakh — at the time of allotment, the rest in 16 instalments. This is less than a quarter of the market rate, according to Vikas Singh's petition.

When contacted, Shanti Bhushan told The Indian Express: "My son and I were among the applicants and we were surprised when we got the allotment letters. I agree there is no transparency in the scheme and allotments have been made without any clear criterion. But why should we challenge this? The people who applied and were not given the farmland should challenge it. I have heard that bribes have passed hands for these allotments but, obviously, not from us. There may be a case for a scheme like this to be cancelled."

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