Land transferred to Bhushan’s trust, admits Dhumal, reminds Virbhadra of Tibetans

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Thursday rejected Union minister Virbhadra Singh's charges of violations in granting land relaxations to Supreme Court lawyer and Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan at Palampur tea estate. Instead, he reminded Singh of the "irregularities", which Congress government under him had committed to give land belonging to Himachal Pradesh to the Tibetans.

On February 21, Virbhadra had alleged that Bhushan's society had been illegally allowed to buy a tea garden in the state. According to the Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings Act-1972, tea garden land cannot be diverted to any other use except for tea plantations.

"The government had received a request from an education trust of Prashant Bhushan and was granted certain relaxations at Palampur. But how will Virbhadra Singh justify the serious irregularities he had committed to favour Tibetans to take over land here?" Dhumal said while speaking to mediapersons at Raj Bhawan after the swearing-in ceremony of Khimi Ram.

He added: "We have set up a judicial commission, headed by a retired high court judge to look into such violations. The Virbhadra government had amended (land) laws to favour Tibetans. The allottements, if found illegal, will be cancelled."

Dhumal also dared Singh to file affidavits before the state Lokayukta if he had evidence. Otherwise, he should desist from levelling baseless charges against the government, the CM added. "He has come from Delhi, where scams like 2G and Commonwealth Games have come up. Moreover, he is here in connection with his own trial in a corruption case. What moral right does he have to talk about corruption?" Dhumal asked.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.