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Court orders registration of FIR against Raje

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Special Correspondent

Allocation of prime land in Jaipur to a trust headed by the Chief Minister

JAIPUR: A city court has ordered registration of a first information report (FIR) against Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Urban Development Minister Pratapsingh Singhvi, former State BJP president L.K.Chaturvedi and two others on the matter of allocation of prime land here to the Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Trust, of which Ms. Raje is the chairperson.

The Opposition parties -- the Congress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India -- have demanded resignation of Ms. Raje and Home Minister G.C.Kataria in the wake of the court directive. Mr. Kataria is one of the trustees of the Deendayal Trust. He was also the chairman of the Cabinet sub-committee which decided on the allocation of the land at concessional rates to the Sangh-sponsored Trust.

Acting on a complaint from advocate Srikrishna Kukkad, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajendra Bansal has asked the station house officer of the Gandhi Nagar police station to submit a report to the court by December 11 after an enquiry

. The others named in the court order for registration of FIR include Ajaipal Singh, chairman of the Rajasthan Housing Board; Jaipur Mayor Ashok Parnami; and the Commissioner, Jaipur Development Authority (JDA).

The issue pertains to allocation of 7,693 sq metres of land by JDA at concessional rates in the Residency scheme near Civil Lines in July this year. The Opposition parties and those who find anomalies in the allocation charge that the allocation was done in July when the Trust itself was registered in August.

As such the rules stipulate that for eligibility for concessional land an organisation has to wait for at least three years after registration.

The matter of allocation of land to the Trust is before the Rajasthan High Court as well after a public interest petition filed by Sushil Sharma, chairman of the Legal Department of the Rajasthan Congress.

The PIL seeks cancellation of the allocation, which according to it has caused a loss of Rs.50 crores to the State exchequer. The Trust was given the land for Rs.65.5 lakhs.

Pradesh Congress Committee president B.D.Kalla in a statement demanded the resignation of Ms.Raje, Mr.Kataria, Mr.Singhvi and other government functionaries so that enquiry could be carried out in a fair manner.

Fair inquiry

PCC spokesperson Param Navdeep Singh said on Thursday that despite the court order the police would have problem in conducting a fair enquiry into the matter if Ms.Raje and Mr.Kataria remained in their present posts. "So far there has been no instance in the whole country that a CM has remained in the post after the registration of an FIR against him or her," Dr.Param said.

Agitation

She said the Congress would launch an agitation if the CM and the Ministers involved did not step down voluntarily.

The State Secretariat of the CPI (M) said the Chief Minister and the Home Minister had lost their moral authority to continue in the posts after the court directive on registering cases against them.

Ever since the controversy broke out a month back over the allocation of premises to the Deendayal Trust which reportedly would also house the BJP State office-- official circles here have been holding the view that the State Government has "adequate" powers to make such allocations.


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