By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 18 Mar: In Uttarakhand, there are many large land scams which have not been taken to their logical end. In most of such cases, usually, there is an involvement of revenue officials who help the culprits in illegal transfer of ownership as well as the local police officials. In many cases, a direct or indirect involvement of politicians from the ruling party or the Opposition is also seen and often, many land scams happen due to the unholy nexus between the land mafia, the politicians, the revenue officials and the police officers. However, in the infamous Anghaila Housing scam, which happened almost 19 years ago, some officers of Registry department of Uttarakhand High Court were also involved. The CBI has now registered a case against unknown officials of the Registry Department of the High Court and five named accused in the famous 19-year-old land scam related to Anghaila Housing Pvt Ltd. The sheer magnitude of the land scam which involved 7,000 bighas of land in and around Dehradun indicates how daring can the land mafia become and do not hesitate to indulge in land scams of such a magnitude. Also, a very slow progress in the court cases also encourages the land mafia to continue to indulge in illegal land grabbing.
It may be recalled that a case related to seven thousand bighas of land was filed in the High Court in the year 2004. However, rather strangely, no interim order was passed in this case. Along with this petition, a petition of Anghaila Housing was also under consideration in the Delhi Company Law Board, Principal Bench of Delhi High Court. Meanwhile, one of the parties, Moushumi Bhattacharjee, a resident of Vidyut Nikunj, Patparganj, Delhi along with her accomplices allegedly produced three fake orders of the High Court and presented them in the court to benefit themselves. But, after a few years, Santosh Kumar Bangla, the director of the society, came to know about it.
He complained about this to the Registrar General of the High Court. The then Chief Justice ordered the Registrar General to investigate the matter and register an FIR. In 2013 itself, the Registrar General had filed a case in this matter at Mallital police station in Nainital. Later this case was transferred to Delhi. But, by the time the High Court’s next action was taken, the Delhi Police had filed the final report in it. Thereafter, the High Court heard the matter as a criminal writ petition.
Meanwhile, one of the directors of the company pleaded in the court for a CBI inquiry into the alleged land scam. Earlier, the court had ordered the Registrar General of the High Court to investigate the matter in-house. In the investigation, no order of the court was found in the file of the High Court. Its report was presented by the Registrar General in the court in a sealed cover. Then it came to know that all these three orders were forged. Prima facie there appeared to be an involvement of some officials of the Registry Department of the High Court behind the fake court orders.
Consequently the High Court ordered a CBI inquiry on 14 November 2022. After investigation, the CBI has now registered a case naming Moushumi Bhattacharyaji, Dharampal Yadav, Kaliram Yadav, Naresh Kumar resident of Shastri Nagar, Meerut and Awadhesh Kumar. In this, the names of the officers of the Registry Department of the High Court are unknown.
It may further be recalled that in the year 2004, advocate Rajesh Suri had taken up the case with several authorities concerned as well as filing a case in the High Court. He had alleged that the land was being illegally taken over by the mafia through forgery. However Suri had died under mysterious circumstances while returning from the case hearing in Nainital. His sister Rita Suri had filed a case against several people, including Ravikant Kiriyana, accusing him of murder. The investigation of this case registered in Kotwali is still being done by the SIT headed by SP Crime. Incidentally the land is now vested in the state government on the plea of Rita Suri. It may further be noted that the land in question, has been facing disputes since several decades.