CBI probe against educational trust run by ex-BJP minister

SRINAGAR: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it had registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) to investigate allegations of land grabbing and other misconduct against the educational trust run by former Jammu and Kashmir minister Choudhary Lal Singh, reported The Tribune.

In some cases, the CBI conducts secret information report (SIR), which is then converted into a preliminary enquiry (PE) only after the verification of facts. During the PE, the agency tries to find if prima facie material exists to move ahead with a formal registration of a case. During the PE, no searches are conducted and no one can be summoned for recording statements without consent, The Tribune quoted the officials as having said.

Incidentally, Lal Singh recently resigned from the BJP following controversy around the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua last year and floated the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan (DSS).

Quoting officials in the CBI , The Tribune reported that the PE had been registered against the RB Educational Trust of Kathua and unknown public servants to probe the allegations relating to the “illegal gratification and extraneous consideration by the revenue and forest officials” of Kathua district in allowing the sale and purchase of forest land.

A senior CBI official said in the PE it was alleged that false certificates were issued to show that “such land comes under exempted category under the JK Agrarian Reforms Act” and, thus, the land was purchased by the educational trust.

The CBI also alleged that the trust, a beneficiary of such illegal acts, continues to be in possession of huge tracts of land in gross violation of the ceiling prescribed under Jammu and the Kashmir Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976, the officials said, adding that false information was allegedly submitted in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir on June 9, 2015, vide an affidavit filed on a public interest litigation to favour this trust, reported The Tribune.

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