Probe panel seeks property statements of PHE minister
Srinagar, Oct 18: A panel of the Legislative Council probing the alleged forest land grab by the sitting cabinet minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din has decided to seek the property statements filed by him in the Legislative Assembly and office of the State’s Chief Electoral Office. Besides, the panel has decided to investigate all claims made by the minister for regularization of land across the state under the Roshni Act to see whether the land acquired by him exceeds the upper limit fixed in the Act.
Informed sources told Greater Kashmir that the panel headed by Peoples Democratic Party legislator Murtaza Khan met at the Legislative Council Secretariat on Thursday and decided to seek the relevant records from the Legislative Assembly Secretariat, Chief Electoral Office, district administration Shopian, Forest, Revenue departments to investigate the allegations against Taj. The allegations were leveled by Panthers Party legislator Syed Rafiq Shah in the Legislative Council recently, saying that Taj was in illegal possession of 13 Kanals of forest land in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. Shah also displayed some documents in support of his claims. However Taj rebutted the allegations as baseless. The issue however forced the chairman of the Council Amrit Malhotra to constitute a five-member panel headed by Khan to look into the allegations.
According to sources, during today’s meeting, the committee decided that the Secretary of Legislative Council would approach the Legislative Assembly to seek the annual property statements filed by Taj since he became the legislator. “Besides the copies of property statements submitted by Taj at the time of filing nominations papers for contesting Parliament and Assembly elections would also be obtained from State’s Chief Electoral Officer,” they added.
The Committee has also decided to ascertain veracity of all claims by Minister for regularization of land acquired under the Roshni Act.
“The panel has decided to ascertain all the claims made by the Minister for regularization of the land across the State especially in Kathua, Jammu, Srinagar, Baramulla districts and Commissioner/Secretary Revenue has been asked to produce records of the same,” sources disclosed.
A panel member said that they have also asked the LC Secretariat to approach Deputy Commissioner Shopian and Divisional Forest Officer of the district for producing records of the land in question.
When contacted, the panel head Murtaza Khan refused to comment on the issue. “Since the matter is being investigated, I cannot speak on it,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST
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