Judge bribery scandal: Himachal begins probe into land deal

August 29th, 2008 - 2:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 29 (IANS) A probe into a controversial land deal in Solan district involving a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has been started by the Himachal Pradesh government, an official said Friday. The scam came to light after Rs.1.5 million was delivered to another judge in Chandigarh.Joint Secretary (Revenue) Rameshwar Sharma, who is conducting the inquiry, told IANS that he had collected necessary documents pertaining to the controversial land deal.

“I met land sellers and recorded their statements. Records of the patwari (local revenue official) regarding the deal were also examined and collected. I will soon submit the report to the government,” he said.

“The inquiry is mainly focused on the grant of permission to buy the land, execution of sale deed and the role of the field staff,” he added.

He also visited the site at Rehun village on the Kumarhatti-Nahan road to evaluate the market value of the land.

Revenue Minister Thakur Gulab Singh said he had yet to receive the inquiry report.

“I can’t comment on the land deal unless I go through the report. If there is any procedural lapse, action will be taken against erring officials,” he added.

The land deal involving 18 buyers, including Justice Nirmal Yadav, her daughter Suruchi, and three family members of her brother Ajay Yadav, a Haryana Congress minister, has come under focus after the cash-for-judge scam rocked the judicial circles in Chandigarh last week.

Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Nirmaljit Kaur alerted authorities after former Haryana additional advocate general Sanjeev Bansal’s assistant delivered a packet containing Rs.1.5 million in cash. Bansal later told the police the cash was meant for another person and it was part of a land deal.

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