CBI files case against trust run by ex-JK minister's wife over irregularities in govt land purchase

UMER MAQBOOL. Updated: 9/15/2020 1:12:57 PM Politics

Jammu, September 15: The CBI has registered a case against a Kathua-based educational trust run by former Jammu and Kashmir minister Lal Singh's wife and some government officials to probe irregularities in purchase of land for setting it up, officials said on Tuesday.

The agency officials on Tuesday carried out searches at nine locations -- three in Jammu and six at Kathua in connection with the case, they said. When contacted by PTI, Singh said, "The CBI is doing its work."

The FIR has been registered against R B Educational Trust through its chairperson and Singh's wife Kanta Andotra, former deputy commissioner of Kathua Ajay Singh Jamwal, former tehsildar of Marheen Avatar Singh and others on allegations of having facilitated the trust in possessing land much beyond the ceiling limit and submitting a false affidavit in its support, causing loss to the state exchequer, the officials said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had in June registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) against the trust and unknown public servants to probe allegations of illegal gratification and extraneous consideration by revenue and forest officials of Kathua district in allowing sale and purchase of forest land, they said.

After carrying out preliminary enquiry into the matter, the CBI has now registered the FIR. The trust runs a school, B.Ed (Bachelor of Education) and nursing colleges on the land, transactions of which are being probed by the central agency for alleged irregularities in its purchase, the officials said.

The preliminary enquiry by the CBI had alleged that the trust, a beneficiary of such alleged illegal acts, continues to be in possession of huge tracts of land in gross violation of the ceiling prescribed under the JK Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976, they said.

Singh quit the BJP last year and floated the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan (DSS).

He and the then industries minister Chander Prakash Ganga had resigned from the PDP-BJP dispensation in 2018 after questions were raised over their participation in a Hindu Ekta Manch rally organised in support of those arrested in connection with the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua that year.

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