Katra Stamp Duty Scam| ACB presents chargesheet against revenue officials, hoteliers in Rs 9.55 cr fraud case

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Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Tuesday presented a charge-sheet in the court of Special Judge Anti Corruption, Udhampur against revenue officials of Katra for allegedly causing loss of Rs 9.55 crore to the J&K exchequer

The revenue officials from Katra are alleged of facilitating private hoteliers to depreciate the value of property in 2011 from its actual cost thereby, helping the latter to evade the stamp duty, the statement issued by ACB said.

The ACB officials said that the bureau presented charge-sheet in a case with FIR No. 12/2011 of PS VOJ (Now ACB) under relevant sections in the court of Special Judge Anti Corruption, Udhampur.

Giving the background of the case, the ACB said, “Instant case was registered on 09th July 2011 by the then State Vigilance Organization (Now ACB) against Swarn Singh Salaria S/o Nadhan Salaria, Village Chohana, Pathankot, Harbans Singh S/o Lehar Singh of Bishnah Jammu, Kunal Sharma Tehsildar Reasi, Rattan Singh  Naib Tehsildar Katra, Hukum Chand Circle Girdawar Katra and Om Prakash  Patwari Halqa Kundrorian Katra for allegedly causing loss of Rs 9.55 crore to the state exchequer.”

“The revenue officers by abuse of their official position dishonestly and fraudulently prepared and issued incomplete and misleading revenue extract in respect of land measuring 52 kanals 18 marlas under Khasra number 11 min situated at village Kundrorian Katra, Reasi falling under Katra Development Authority in favour of private beneficiaries Swarn Singh Salaria- Director, Simm Samm Hotels Private Limited and The White Hotel Katra and others,” the ACB officials said.

They further added that during verification, it transpired that the alleged the officials knowingly and willfully omitted to mention that “the White Hotel, Katra, District Reasi” constructed over the land that existed on the land while preparing and issuing revenue extracts thus intentionally and dishonestly facilitated private beneficiaries Swarn Singh Salaria and Harbans Singh to depreciate the value of property from its actual cost and thus allowed evasion of the stamp duty.”

Verifications further revealed that Swarn Singh Salaria had obtained a loan of Rs 1500 lakh from IDBI Bank Mumbai in June 2010 against the aforesaid property, the statement read.

“While assessing the property of Swarn Singh Salaria in the form of land and hotel white, the surveyor had assessed the value of the property to the tune of Rs 194,25,24,478. This assessment had been agreed upon by the beneficiary and IDBI Bank Mumbai while mortgaging the aforesaid property against the loan of Rs 1500 lacs. The land in question falls under Katra Development Authority,” the ACB officials said.