Pune: The Mumbai High Court has directed the Deputy Collector to file a criminal case against four land mafias on charges of cheating the government and producing forged documents related to the land of tribals to be acquired for phase five of Chakan Industrial Estate at Ambethan in Khed taluka.
The High Court bench of Justice A A Syed and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai has given these orders. The bench was hearing the matter of dispute over the compensation for land acquisition for an industrial area in Group No. 812 (50-hectare area - 252 7/12 extracts) at Ambethan.
Gautam Kisan Wadwe, Chandrakant Mayaram Pardeshi, Ramindra Singh Surendrasingh Narang and Pritamkaur Surendrasingh Narang had acquired these land plots by means of signing the agreement, development agreement and power of attorney.
After the land was acquired by MIDC, the sub-divisional officers issued notices in the name of the original owners for payment of compensation amount. These notices were challenged by the four and they filed a suit in the Rajgurunagar court against the original landowners seeking compensation for the land acquired. The sub-divisional officer ruled in favour of the original owner, after which Wadve, Pardeshi and Narangs went to the High Court against that decision. The court dismissed the appeal and ordered that the money be given to the original tribal landowners.
Following the order, the sub-divisional officers were directed to file a criminal case against the four within six weeks of receiving the order. It was stated that the compensation for the acquired lands should be transferred to the district court and the court should keep five per cent of the amount in the farmers' savings account and the remaining 95 per cent in the bank for a term deposit. The sub-divisional officer also directed the police to investigate the matter within six months of filing the case and submit its report to the high court within two weeks after the investigation.
Meanwhile, the sub-divisional officers made a part payment of land acquisition compensation to some of the farmers, but the four suspects created fake bank accounts in the name of those farmers and got them to sign the cheques. This too is yet to be investigated.
The land mafia acquired lands from 2008 to 2013 at a rate of Rs 4 lakh per hectare. MIDC has given a price of Rs 55 lakh per acre to the farmers there at present. These land plots were given by the government to the farmers who were landless then.