Patiala land scam: Suspended IAS officer, nine others booked for fraud

A suspended IAS officer and nine others were Friday booked by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau for their alleged involvement in a "fraudulent sale" of government land in Patiala last year causing a loss of crores of rupees to the exchequer .

The bureau registered a case against former Deputy Commissioner of Patiala, Vikas Garg, four former revenue officials of Patiala, and five private individuals for the "fraudulent sale" of government land, situated on Rajbaha Road in Patiala in October last year.

The case was registered following a preliminary enquiry conducted by the bureau on the directions of the state government recently, a bureau spokesman said. Garg and his subordinate officers in the district revenue department were placed under suspension. Based on the report, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal gave nod to register a criminal case against all the indicted officials.

Those booked include, Garg, Rajbir Singh (then DRO), Gurinder Singh Walia (then Naib Tehsildar), Pritpal Singh (then Kanugo), Suresh Kumar (then Patwari), and five private individuals including NP Singh, Yashpal Aggarwal, Davinder Singh Sandhu, Ravdeep Singh and Jaswant Singh. All 10 have been booked under sections 409 (misappropriation of funds), 420 (cheating), 467 (fraud), 468, 471 (forgery), 120-B IPC (criminal conspiracy) and 13(I) (d) r/w 13(2) PC Act 1988 (corruption). No arrest has been made so far, the spokesman said, adding the case was being probed.

The case pertains to the ownership and sale of a chunk of land measuring 6000 square yards in Patiala. According to the prevailing market rates, the land is worth more than Rs 250 crore. While the state government had been the land as its property and that the accused colluded with each other to usurp it, the buyers claim that they have already paid Rs 3.25 crore to a Kiraninder Singh, the 'owner' of the said land and a member of Patiala royal family.

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