Following a complaint, district collector suspends land deal

A piece of land, reportedly gifted to the country’s first Union Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, has been “sold” at a throwaway price, with a “thumb impression” claimed to be that of the Iron Man of India.

The 1.39 hectares in Gadava village in Kaira district, Sardar Patel’s home district in central Gujarat, was so far showed on the official record as owned by him. The land was used for grazing cattle.

The land was suddenly found to have been “sold” by one Vallabhbhai Zaverbhai Patel, a 90-year-old resident of nearby Vadavadi village, to one Bhupendra Dabhi.

What attracted the attention of the authorities was the low price shown in the official sale deed. The land was claimed to have been sold for Rs. 2.5 lakh, when its present market price is in the region of Rs. 60 lakh.

The deal attracted the notice of the local village sarpanch, Chiman Chauhan, who in turn alerted the Union Minister of State, Dinsha Patel, who hails from that district.

Mr. Dinsha Patel, in turn, brought it to the notice of the district authorities, and the land deal was suspended till further orders.

Mafia hand suspected

According to Mr. Chauhan, it must be the handiwork of the land mafia. The low price was presumably to escape government taxes.

Following Mr. Patel’s complaint, Collector M. V. Pargi stayed all transactions on the land till further orders, and has summoned both the buyer and the seller on July 17 for questioning.

Mr. Pargi said it prima facie appeared to be a fraudulent deal, but he would take a decision only after checking all the revenue records, including if the land was owned by the Iron Man of India, who gifted the land to him, and relevant documents to establish the owner of the land.

I was unaware: buyer

The buyer claimed he had no knowledge that the land was owned by Sardar Patel.