A startling case pertaining to Haryana’s consolidation of land holdings department has come to light, in which a chartered accountant — in his early 40s — got “transfer of possessory rights” of a land in his favour on the basis that he was in possession of the land for the last 55 years.
According to the records of the communications (a copy of which is with The Indian Express) exchanged between officials of former director general (Consolidation of Land Holdings) Dr Ashok Khemka and Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Financial Commissioner (Revenue) Krishna Mohan, dated September 22, the land racket is estimated at Rs 15 crore.
The land in question, measuring around 51 kanals and 5 marlas, is located at Faridabad’s Chirsi village. The case dates back to February 17, 2011, when Gurgaon Assistant Consolidation Officer Dalbir Singh corrected an entry in the “khasra girdawari” (record of possession, possessory rights) on the basis of an application filed by Faridabad resident Bhupinder Singh. Bhupinder had claimed that he was in possession of the land for the last 50-55 years at Chirsi village in Faridabad Tehsil. Interestingly, at that time, Bhupinder was 40-45 years old.
When Khemka came to know about this, he cancelled the order passed by Dalbir Singh on September 21, 2012. The next day, Khemka wrote to Krishna Mohan: “The correction in khasra girdawari was made without jurisdiction and powers of Assistant Collector, 2nd Grade. The possession has been fraudulently recorded as ‘Bavajah Notor Bila Lagan Bashrah Kabja Dereena’ (due to betterment of field without land revenue of very old possession) in a malafide manner to wrongly benefit Bhupinder Singh, so as to enable him to claim title of the land by virtue of adverse possession. This single land racket is worth an estimated Rs 15 crore.”
While reversing Dalbir Singh’s orders, Khemka also issued a chargesheet against him for passing an order without jurisdiction. “On enquiry, it is revealed that the applicant Bhupinder Singh is a practicing chartered accountant of age 40-45 years and therefore, the retrospective correction since the last 50-55 years even before he was born is ludicrous,” wrote Khemka.
In October, this year, Bhupinder approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court and challenged Khemka’s orders on the plea that no notice was issued to him before passing such orders and that the “khasra girdawari” was rectified after spot inspection.
The high court, on October 19, held that