IAS officer suspended in Punjab over land deal

Chandigarh: The Punjab government Tuesday ordered suspension of a senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and five revenue department officials in connection with a controversial land deal in Patiala town last year.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal ordered the immediate suspension of IAS officer Vikas Garg and others “for committing grave irregularities in registering two sale deeds that were registered by joint sub-registrar, Patiala on Oct 14, 2011”, a spokesman of the chief minister’s office said here.

Garg, who is currently posted in Chandigarh, was the deputy commissioner of Patiala at that time.

The other suspended officials include the then district revenue officer, Rajbir Singh, Tehsildar A.S. Thind, Naib Tehsildar G.S. Walia, Kanungo Pritpal Singh and Patwari Suresh Kumar — all land revenue officials.

The controversy is related to two sale deeds of nearly 6,000 square yards of prime land in Patiala town, 80 km from here. Though the land was occupied by the office of civil surgeon and the education department, the revenue officials showed the land in the sale deeds in the name of a private individual.

The action came following the reports of the Patiala divisional commissioner and the revenue minister. The enquiry by the divisional commissioner had found that the deputy commissioner, exceeding his authority, had allowed registration of the land. The sale deed was registered by the naib tehsildar the same day.

“The chief minister also marked an inquiry of this matter to the vigilance department to be conducted by director general of police (vigilance) under his personal supervision,” the spokesman said.

The government has ordered departmental action against all the “delinquent” officials.


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