Special Correspondent

Officials, former Minister accused of connivance in land deal

Charges

  • Accused violated rules to allow change in land use
  • Land was meant for park, playground and public use

    GULBARGA: Principal District and Sessions Judge B.A. Muchandi has admitted a private complaint filed by the former Minister S.K. Kanta in the Special Court. The judge has directed the Lokayukta police to investigate charges of corruption and cheating against three senior IAS officials, including the Commissioner of the Karnataka Housing Board, and 13 government officials and 109 individuals, including the former Minister Qamar-ul-Islam, and submit a report by May 22.

    The officials against whom the complaint has been made include Karnataka Housing Board Commissioner M. Laxmirayan, who was a former Deputy Commissioner of Gulbarga district; Kolar district Deputy Commissioner Anjum Parvez, also a former Deputy Commissioner of Gulbarga district; Gulbarga district Deputy Commissioner Pankajkumar Pandey; the former Commissioner of the Gulbarga Development Authority G.M. Choudhary; Gulbarga tahsildar Sultan Ahmad; and the former Assistant Commissioner Somashekar.

    The charge levelled by Mr. Kanta is that the accused violated the Karnataka Land Revenue Act and allowed change of land use, prohibited by the Government through a notification issued in 1995, in Noorbagh, Badepur and Vokkalgera, totalling almost 50 acres. The land was reserved for public park, playground and public use in the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) for Gulbarga city.

    The judge's order passed on Tuesday has given a new twist to the tussle between Mr. Kanta and Mr. Islam.

    The land, according to the petition filed by Mr. Kanta in court, was inam land owned by Sajjada Nasheen of the Khwaja Banda Nawaz Dargah. In 1984, the Land Tribunal passed an order handing over the land to a Hyderabad-based chartered accountant, Gulam Dastigir, on the condition that it should not be alienated for 15 years.

    Releasing a copy of the judge's order at a press conference here on Thursday, Mr. Kanta alleged that rules were violated by various Deputy Commissioners of the district at the instance of Mr. Islam, who was a Minister in the S.M. Krishna Cabinet.

    Land sold to public

    Mr. Islam and his brother, Anwar-ul-Haq, whose wife is the daughter of Gulam Dastigir, claimed General Power of Attorney over the land, and sold it to the general public. The complaint said initially the land was sold in plots measured in square feet. Later, with the alleged connivance of officials in the Gulbarga tahsildar's office, the measurement was converted to guntas with the aim of claiming that the land sold was agricultural land.

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