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ADM, sub-registrar who ‘illegally sold govt land’ suspended for graft

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 24-06-2022 HT Correspondent, New Delhi
Himachal vigilance bureau officials arrested the NCTE officials after recovering the graft from two members’ rooms, while two others were caught red-handed. (Representative Image/HT File) © Provided by Hindustan Times Himachal vigilance bureau officials arrested the NCTE officials after recovering the graft from two members’ rooms, while two others were caught red-handed. (Representative Image/HT File)

Two more officials were suspended on Thursday, separately by Delhi lieutenant governor (LG) Vinai Kumar Saxena and Delhi chief secretary Naresh Kumar, in connection with alleged corruption concerning illegal sale of government land, two days after the LG sacked three officials in the same case.

According to officials in the LG office, Saxena on Thursday recommended to the Union home ministry to suspend Nagender Shekhar Pati Tripathi, a selection grade officer currently posted as an additional district magistrate (ADM) in Delhi.

Additionally, the chief secretary on Thursday suspended DC Sahoo, the sub-registrar of Hauz Khas, who was also allegedly involved in the same scam.

On June 21, the LG suspended three officials — two sub-divisional magistrates and one deputy secretary in the chief minister’s office — in connection over charges of corruption in transfer evacuee properties to private entities between 2015 and 2021.

Senior officials who asked not to be named said the four officials suspended by the LG were posted as SDM Alipur at different times and allegedly passed orders giving away ownership of evacuee land, vested with the government of India, to private entities. “The four officials had given Bhumidari rights of the government land parcels to private entities in an alleged scam,” said a Raj Niwas (LG office) official, requesting anonymity.

The three officers suspended on June 21 — Harshit Jain, Prakash Chand Thakur, and Devender Sharma — were ad hoc officers of Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) cadre. Jain and Sharma were SDMs while Thakur was posted as deputy secretary at the CMO.

The land parcels in question belonged to one Karmu, son of Rifait, in village Jhangola in north Delhi district that was declared evacuee property after its owner shifted to Pakistan. “This is a swift and decisive action by the LG to finally put the lid on the blatant land scam going on in the national capital since 2015. He decided to order the suspension of involved officers so that proceedings could be started against them by the revenue department,” a second Raj Niwas official.

Meanwhile, Sahoo will now face disciplinary proceedings, a suspension order issued by the chief secretary said, a copy of which HT has seen. Senior government officials said Sahoo was also involved in the same scam for which three officials were suspended by the LG on June 21.

An official who asked not to be named said during the period of suspension Sahoo has been asked not to leave the headquarters without obtaining prior permission of the competent authority.

A Delhi government spokesperson did not comment on the matter on Thursday.

However, the Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday said that transfer and postings are done by the services department which comes under the direct control of the LG. “We have no control on which officer comes and goes in various departments. It is all reviewed and approved by the LG. This case in which Thakur is being investigated is regarding some government land that was allegedly sold to some private entity in Narela zone,” a senior party functionary said.

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