Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday appointed a tribunal to look into allegations of land grabbing by influential persons, including politicians and bureaucrats, in Punjab.

The three-member bench, to be headed by retired judge of Supreme Court Justice Kuldeep Singh, would identify whether the lands, transferred to and acquired by various individuals, politicians and bureaucrats, was at any point of time, public, shamlat, forest or nazul land.

The tribunal will also probe as to how the ownership of such lands was changed or mutated into private owners.

The division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Kumar also asked the tribunal to submit its report in four months.

Stressing on the need to set up the tribunal, the high court said when names of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini have figured in the list of 60 influential people who possessed land in Mohali district and then a fair probe by a statutory body could not be expected.

The court's move came on a petition filed by one Kuldeep Singh, who alleged land grabbing and forced selling of land in Naya Gaon in Mohali by influential people.

The petition had come up for hearing in 2007 before the high court. It was later converted into a PIL.

The court had then appointed Punjab ADGP Chandershekhar to probe the matter. During the probe, it came to light that the lands were under possession of several senior bureaucrats, politicians and other influential persons.

It was alleged that about 25,000 acre land was under illegal possession in Mohali district.

A recent report submitted before the court has named 60 influential people holding land in Mohali. The list included Parkash Singh Badal, who possesses five acre land in Lohgarh village at Zirakpur. Names of DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, some other IPS officers and politicians also figured in the list.



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