Judicial panel to probe Himachal land transactions

June 13th, 2011 - 6:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, June 13 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government Monday set up a one-man judicial commission to look into allegations of illegal land transactions made by the opposition Congress.

Justice D.P. Sood, a former judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, will inquire into the issues relating to ‘benami’ (proxy) land transactions in the state since 2003, said an official statement quoting Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

The statement said the commission will submit its report within six months.

It will inquire into issues relating to ‘benami’ land transactions in violation of Section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act of 1972 that allows only permanent residents of the state to buy land. Others who want to purchase land for non-agricultural purposes have to seek permission from the government.

The commission will also inquire into all clearances given to realtors.

The Congress alleged that top political functionaries in the state were involved in illegal property transactions and were promoting realtors.

Assembly proceedings were disrupted March 18 by the Congress over an infrastructure company allegedly felling trees in a forested area in Shimla for developing cottages.

It also questioned the government on the permission granted to another company for setting up a housing project in the resort town of Kasauli in Solan district.

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