Government land returned after two decades

Jajarkot, October 24

Two land plots in Jajarkot district headquarters Khalanga, that were registered in the name of the district court and district attorney’s office, Jajarkot, 20 years ago, but were unscrupulously transferred to private ownership by land mafia, have finally been returned to the government bodies concerned.

Following the Supreme Court’s verdict on Tuesday, five ropani two anna land originally belonging to the district court and one ropani nine anna land belonging to the attorney’s office have now been returned to the original owners.

A joint bench of justices Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Manoj Kumar Sharma issued the verdict on Tuesday. According to Deputy Attorney Uddhav Prasad Pudasaini, who had argued on behalf of the prosecution, the land plots had been registered in the name of the government offices to construct their own buildings. But land mafia colluded with the court staffers and others and succeeded in annulling the land registration in the names of the government offices and got the land transferred to private ownership.

As per records, while then district court first class non-gazetted officer Gorakh Bahadur Singh had written and dispatched a letter to the Land Revenue Office of Jajarkot, vouching that the land was not necessary for the court, Singh’s brother-in-law Tarka Bikram Shah and his friend Deusari Oli had filed an application at the land revenue office, claiming that they had bought the land plots from Pratap Khatri and Parse Khatri.

It was on the basis of the letters that the land mafia had managed to get the land revenue office to annul the land ownership in the name of government offices and transferred the land plots to their names.

Investigation into the scam began after locals, upon getting wind of the fraud, filed a complaint at the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority 12 years ago.

It’s interesting to note that Tarka and Deusari had managed to split the land plots and sell part of the land to different people.

As the issue drew the CIAA attention, the land revenue office annulled the private ownership of the land plots and reverted them back to the government offices’ ownership, it’s learnt.

The issue took a new turn after the so-called land owners took to the SC against the land revenue office’s decision. Meanwhile, as many as six houses have already been erected in the land plots abutting forest while the land plots had been frozen with the decision of the district forest office.

While senior advocates Shreehari Aryal and Harihar Dahal argued on behalf of the persons who intended to grab the land plots, deputy attorney Uddhav Prasad Pudasaini argued on behalf of the prosecution. According to Pudasaini, there won’t be any compensation to the persons who built homes in the disputed land plots while it was frozen at the order of DFO.