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NCP leader accuses Maharashtra revenue minister of multi-crore land scam in Pune

Chandrakant Patil caused loss of revenue worth crores, alleges Jayant Patil

The Opposition on Wednesday accused Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil of being involved in a multi-crore land scam involving two land deals in Pune district.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Jayant Patil, whose speech was expunged in Assembly by speaker Haribhau Bagde, addressed a press conference later to reiterate the allegations and demanded Mr. Patil’s resignation. The Minister, on his part dismissed the allegations and said it was a reflection of the losses suffered by Mr. Patil’s party in the Lok Sabha polls.

The NCP MLA alleged that the “Revenue minister using his powers waived off the najrana (fee to transfer temple land) worth ₹42 crore to benefit a builder.” He said around 23 acres of the Mhasoba Devasthan in Kesnand village of Pune’s Haveli tehsil was handed over to Radhasoami Satsang, which had applied to the district collector to regularise transfer of the land deal and make it non-agricultural. The revenue commissioner rejected the plea for non-payment of premium fee.

“When an appeal was made to the Minister, he used his quasi-judicial powers and cleared the transaction without recovering the premium. The land was sold at ₹84 crore, and the State government faced a loss of ₹42 crore for non-payment of premium fee,” he said.

In the second case, Mr. Patil accused the minister of favouring a builder for a land at Balewadi in Pune. He said a land reserved for a playground was taken over by Shivpriya Realtors. In this case too the officer had informed about the wrong measurement of the plot since it had encroached on the neighbouring playground. “The Revenue minister stayed the decision and ruled in favour of the builder. Construction on this land has begun,” he said.

Mr. Chandrakant Patil refuted the allegations. “As per the 1885 land records, the land was not mentioned as devasthan land (inam land) and hence no premium fees was required to be paid,” he said. In the case of Balewadi land, there was no decision, only the land evaluation officer was replaced, he said.

Earlier, these remarks were expunged from the proceedings after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde said the member had not given a notice before making these personal allegations. The Opposition boycotted the assembly as a mark of protest. The NCP leader said he would expose another new case on Thursday.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:05:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ncp-leader-accuses-maharashtra-revenue-minister-of-multi-crore-land-scam-in-pune/article28160285.ece

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