CBI registers 4 FIRs related to enemy property scam; conducts searches

The CBI has registered four FIRs against officials managing for allegedly leasing out over 71 hectares of prime commercial land in at nominal rates by showing these as ponds, officials said.

They said the alleged scam is related to — which were left behind by those who took citizenship of China and Pakistan — in Lucknow, Barabanki and Sitapur.

are currently vested with the Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI).

The officials said the agency has also conducted searches at 40 locations in Lucknow, Delhi, Kolkata, Ghaziabad, Noida, Bulandshahr and Barabanki in connection with the case.

The central agency has booked Samandar Singh Rana, the then officiating Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI) at Delhi; Utpal Chakraborty, Assistant Custodian and Ramesh Chandra Tewari, a retired supervisor (both based in Lucknow) under Indian Penal Code sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) and 471 (forgery) and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act related to bribery, they said. In addition, the CBI has also named 41 beneficiaries as accused in the four FIRs–two filed with the Lucknow unit while two were filed with Ghaziabad

Enemy properties vested with CEPI are the left behind assets of Indians who took Chinese and Pakistani nationality after wars with these countries.

The government took over these properties under The Defence of India Act, 1962, after their migration and change in nationality.

“A property of an individual or a company recorded in the name of an enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm at the crucial vesting period i.e. from September 10, 1965, to September 26, 1977, is treated as an enemy property strictly as per procedures laid down in the Enemy Property Rules, 2015,” according to the Home Ministry’s website.

Properties of Chinese and Pakistani nationals or companies were vested with the CEPI as enemy properties, it adds.

The FIR said that the officials of CEPI allegedly colluded with beneficiaries by “forging and manipulating lease agreements in favour of lessees” and granting lease without agreements.

It also alleged that leases were regularised without the approval of the central government, by waiving of lease rental arrears, unauthorised out of court settlements and other illegal means, causing loss of revenue to the government.

One of the beneficiaries was Ramesh Chandra Tewari’s brother Avinash Tewari, posted in the revenue department of the state, who got the lease of over eight acre of prime land having a mango orchard with 177 trees at an annual rate of Rs 5,000 as against the market rate of Rs 5.55 lakh per annum according to an inquiry carried out by the CEPI, they said.

“Public servants in conspiracy with private persons caused huge financial loss to the government exchequer by leasing out large tracts of prime high value land, measuring about 17 hectares, located at Noida Extension, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Kasganj etc,” a CBI spokesperson said about the FIRs registered at Ghaziabad unit.

The CBI has alleged that the said parcels of land were given at extremely nominal rentals, allowing illegal constructions by private builders and also forging lease agreements in the matter of enemy properties, he said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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