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Lok Ayukta case against Digvijay in land scam

By Our Staff Correspondent

BHOPAL, FEB. 11. The Special Police Establishment of the Madhya Pradesh Lok Ayukta has registered a case in connection with a land scam in Indore under the Prevention of Corruption Act and will probe allegations of criminal conspiracy and corruption against the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Digvijay Singh, and four others.

The Special Police Establishment had registered an FIR against Mr. Singh, his close friend and coloniser, Subhash Gupta, the Indore Collector, M. Suleiman, the Competent Authority (Urban Land Ceiling), R.K. Gupta and the Principal Secretary, Revenue, Satyanand Mishra, under Sections 13(1) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, along with criminal conspiracy, on Tuesday.

The action follows the directions of the First Additional Sessions Judge of Indore, J.P. Gupta, in response to a complaint alleging that R.K. Gupta deliberately did not attach the surplus 8 acres near Dhar Kothi in Indore after the Urban Land Ceiling Act had been annulled despite an attachment order passed by the then Indore Collector, Manoj Shrivastava.

The complainant has alleged that R.K. Gupta had conspired with Subhash Gupta and the former Chief Minister to allow five acres of this land to be used for colonisation purpose. He said an application seeking allotment of the land in question at a lease rent of Rs. 563 a year and for preparing a lease deed had been submitted to Satyanand Mishra on September 3, 2002. Subsequently, on his directives, the Collector had prepared the lease deed.

The Madhya Pradesh Lok Ayukta, Justice Ripu Sudan Dayal, confirmed that the Special Police Establishment had registered an FIR. He said it would take six to seven months to complete the investigation. The sessions court has "neither taken cognisance nor held any preliminary inquiry in this case," and media reports to the contrary amounted to "trial by media."

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