GUJRAT: The land revenue department in Mandi Bahauddin has been ordered to cancel the illegal mutations of at least 1,113 kanal land of about 101 residents of the Rukan village made in the name of a private housing society.

The villagers were deprived of their inherited property through illegal transactions done by the revenue officials on the pretext of rectification of the land records. However, to get the registration deeds transacted by the management of a housing society (Metro City) cancelled, the land revenue department will file a civil suit before the court since these deeds have been proceeded on the basis of the earlier illegal mutations entered by the officials of the department.

The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Mandi Bahauddin circle had lodged a case of fraud against some government officials as well as the private persons for committing the scam with the land holders without their knowledge. A former tehsildar of Malakwal has been arrested by the ACE after his nomination in the said land scam.

An inquiry committee, headed by Mandi Bahauddin Deputy Commissioner Shahid Marth, has concluded its interim report and in the findings of the report, the Malakwal assistant commissioner (AC) has been ordered by the DC, who holds of office of district collector of land revenue department also, to immediately cancel the illegal mutations entered through Fard Badar (rectification of record document) and reverse the ownership in the name of the actual owners.

Revenue dept will have to move court for deeds cancellation; villagers were deprived of land without knowledge

The affected farmers and owners of the huge pieces of land in Rukan village had lodged several protest demonstrations against the fraud committed in connivance with the revenue officials to benefit the housing society owned by the grandson of the country’s biggest property tycoon.

DC Shahid Marth confirmed to Dawn by telephone that he had written a formal letter to the AC concerned to cancel fraudulent mutations and restore the earlier status of the land ownership.

He said 1,113 kanals of 101 people had been transacted illegally through bogus mutations in last November, December and January. However, he added, technically the housing society had got at least 700 kanals land through the illegal mutation deeds and as per the law such deeds could only be undone by the court of law and the land revenue department would itself become a party in the court for cancellation of registration deeds.

He added that since registration deeds had been processed on the basis of previously made illegal mutations in record and now when that basis had been declared null and void through the collector office, the deeds hopefully would also be declared void or cancelled after the court would be given the proof of the scam.

The official sources said a formal departmental inquiry against those officials involved in the scam might also be initiated by the provincial board of revenue (BoR).

It is learnt some of the officials have fled the country after Mandi Bahauddin DC unearthed the land scam in the Rukan village and the ACE is investigating the case referred by the district administration.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2023

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