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Punjab constitutes SIT to probe ‘illegal’ properties of bigwigs

The Punjab government has constituted a special investigation team to probe the case pertaining to the alleged illegal land acquired by bigwigs,including IAS and IPS officers as well as politicians,in the periphery of Chandigarh.

Written by RAGHAV OHRI | Chandigarh |
April 18, 2011 2:17:08 am

The Punjab government has constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the case pertaining to the alleged illegal land acquired by bigwigs,including IAS and IPS officers as well as politicians,in the periphery of Chandigarh.

The case,which has been handed over to the Economic Offences Wing in Mohali,will be supervised by ADG Hardeep Dhillon and monitored by Punjab Chief Secretary S C Agarwal. Dhillon had replaced Chander Shekhar — the investigating officer in the case — who retired as the DGP of Railways.

Distraught over the “non-cooperative” attitude of various departments of the Punjab government and claiming that there is “a nexus between land mafia and some politicians,bureaucrats,police officers”,Shekhar had requested the Punjab and Haryana High Court to hand over the probe to the CBI. A special division bench,comprising Justices A K Goel and Nirmaljit Kaur,had asked the Punjab chief secretary to give his findings on the submission made by Shekhar.

Following this,a meeting was held recently,headed by the chief secretary and attended by the state DGP as well as other senior functionaries. “The decision was taken after Hardeep Dhillon had given a suggestion that the investigation be handed over to a SIT. The suggestion was seconded by the DGP. Since Dhillon has other responsibilities,we considered it prudent to hand over the probe to a special investigation team. While Dhillon will supervise the investigation,I shall monitor it,” Agarwal told The Indian Express.

The case — arising out of a suo motu notice taken by the high court — will come up for resumed hearing this month. The state has filed an affidavit in the court apprising it of the constitution of the SIT. “Even if the high court disposes of the case,I will monitor the investigation till it is completed,” said Agarwal. Also,the staff that was attached with Chander Shekhar has been made part of the SIT,which will now look into the case.

Shekhar,in his status reports,had given details of the properties illegally owned by various big wigs and the land under illegal possession.

One of such reports has stated that a total of 4,719 acres of land in the periphery is under illegal possession. The said land is located in Majri,Kharar and Dera Bassi and a total of 31 cases are pending in various courts in this connection. He had also submitted that though there are 2,455 violators,action has only been taken against 690 of them.

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