Court asks Vigilance for Report on Raman Bhalla’s Palatial House on State Land



In much publicized writ petition filed by Social Activist Prof SK Bhalla alleging construction of a palatial house by the Former Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla on State Land comprised in Khasra No.781 min, today Justice Tashi Rabstan of Jammu and Kashmir High Court (Jammu Wing) directed State Vigilance Organization to file fresh status report indicating the progress achieved in the probe before the next date of hearing i.e. week commencing September, 7, 2015.

Raman Bhalla

After hearing Prof SK Bhalla petitioner in person and AAG PC Sharma appearing for SVO, Justice Tashi Rabstan went through the status report filed by the State Vigilance Organization wherein it had been highlighted that the demarcation of the land in question has been conducted and the demarcation report has been received from the Revenue Agency and the same is under examination. The status report further said that Jammu Municipal Corporation has also inspected the site for examining the violation of the site plan if any and the report of the Jammu Municipal Corporation is awaited.

Prof SK Bhalla submitted that the status report is totally silent on the disproportionate assets angle and the SVO has not commented about the probe on the disproportionate assets side. He further submitted that in his complaint to the SVO he had categorically submitted that the cost of the construction runs into Crores but the SVO has not taken care to hold enquiry on this issue. He further submitted that the Former Revenue Minister has also encroached the Nallah and he is using the encroached as his parking and has also installed a security picket and the status report is totally silent on the said issue. He further submitted that during demarcation none of the senior officers associated themselves and the demarcation was conducted by the subordinate revenue officials like Naib-Tehsildar, Girdawar and Patwari. He further submitted that even Tehsildar South did not associate herself with the demarcation proceedings nor SDM South Jammu joined the demarcation proceedings. He further submitted that Deputy Commissioner, Jammu should have gone on spot at the time of demarcation and the demarcation should have taken place in his presence and supervision. He expressed apprehension about the credibility of the demarcation report. He further submitted that the demarcation report be summoned in the Court for judicial scrutiny and further submitted that SVO is delaying the probe as the same is directed against the Former Cabinet Minister of the State. He further pointed out that the Supreme Court of India in its land marked Judgment titled Lalita Kumar V/s State of UP has held that preliminary enquiry in a corruption case should not exceed seven days but in the instant case the probe is being delayed as the same is directed against the influential Former Revenue Minister of the State.

After considering the submissions of Prof SK Bhalla Justice Tashi Rabstan directed AAG PC Sharma appearing for the State Vigilance Organization to file the fresh status report before the next date of hearing. The Court looking into the importance of the issue directed the Registry to list this petition in the week commencing September, 7, 2015.

It is worthwhile to mention herein that in the previous status report it was mentioned that the then Revenue Minister has purchased land measuring 1 Kanal 10 Marlas bearing Khasra Nos.778 and 779 situated at Village Deeli, Jammu from three persons and the allegation is that a palatial residential building has been constructed by Raman Bhalla over State Land bearing Khasra No.781 min adjoining Satyam Resorts and Jammu Plaza which too have been constructed over the said State Land. It is further stated that the rough sketch of the plot in mutation No.4747/J shows that the plot has “Gair Mumkin Gali” at North, South and West Side of the plot whereas the actual construction (illegal) does not have three galis and located at the left side of the road leading from Satyam Resorts to JK Resorts and hence it can be established that all the concerned Departments deliberately ignored the vital information and facilitated the illegal encroachment and construction on the State Land.

The status report further says that the concerned Patwari in his report dated 27-09-2011 has stated that the said land is not a Nazool, JDA or custodian. Another aspect of this illegal construction is huge construction cost disproportionate to the known source of income of Raman Bhalla. It has also been alleged that the cost of each bathroom exceeds Rs 20.00 Lakh and there are five bathrooms in the said building. The tentative cost of material exceeds Rs 5.00 Crore. (CNS)

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