Tehsildar, two Patwaris arrested for taking bribe of Rs 7 lac

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB), as part of its ongoing anti-corruption campaign, apprehended Sandhura Singh, Tehsildar (Retd.) of Moonak, Dharmaraj, Patwari of revenue Halqa village Balran, Sangrur district, and Bhagwan Das, Patwari (Retd.), for soliciting bribe of Rs 7 lakh in exchange for facilitating the illegal transfer and mutation of agricultural land.

An official spokesperson of the state VB disclosed that FIR No. 18 dated 27.12.2023 has been filed under sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of IPC after a thorough inquiry at the police station of VB’s economic offenses wing, Ludhiana. The accused named in the FIR include Sandhura Singh, Tehsildar (Retd.), Dharmaraj Patwari, Mithu Singh Patwari (both from Halqa Balran, Sangrur district), Bhagwan Das, Patwari (Retd.), and a private person Balwant Singh of village Balran, Sangrur.

Providing more details, he stated that the investigation revealed the creation of a fake mutation (No. 10808) involving the exchange of land measuring 25 Kanal 15 Marla, belonging to Gurtej Singh and others at village Balran, with Balwant Singh’s land at village Raipur, Tehsil Jhakhal, Haryana. Dharmaraj Patwari received a bribe of Rs 7 lakhs from Balwant Singh to execute this fraudulent mutation. Subsequently, Dharmaraj Patwari obtained approval for this mutation from Sandhura Singh (now Retd.) Tehsildar backdated to 15.05.2019 to match the entries in the Jamabandi, which had a deadline of 15.05.2023.

The spokesperson highlighted the irregularities in the revenue records, noting that the entry for mutation approval was made with a ballpoint pen, unlike other entries on the same date, which were recorded using a gel pen. Additionally, the accused Patwari failed to forward a copy of the mutation to the office of Kanugo to conceal his misdeeds.

Further investigation revealed that no family partition had occurred between Gurtej Singh and others and Balwant Singh. Apart from that Balwant Singh did not possess any land at village Raisar in Jhakhal, Haryana. Balwant Singh, claiming ownership of land since 1966, approached Dharmaraj Patwari to transfer ownership, who demanded Rs 10 lakhs. After negotiations, Dharmaraj Patwari accepted a bribe of Rs 7 lakhs from Balwant Singh.

Continuing the narrative, the spokesperson added that after Dharmaraj Patwari’s transfer, Mithu Singh Patwari altered the complainant’s revenue records, fraudulently reducing their shares from 57 Kanals 11 Marlas to 31 Kanals 16 Marlas. This illegal action allowed the unlawful attachment/transfer of 25 Kanals 15 Marlas of land to Balwant Singh. To conceal these acts, Mithu Singh Patwari removed pages 134 to 138 from the Jamabandi register and replaced them with new pages lacking serial numbers, unlike the rest of the register.

The investigation revealed that Mithu Singh Patwari manipulated the revenue record while making it online on 07.05.2021. Balwant Singh then transferred the land in question to his grandson, Balraj Singh, via vasika no 53 dated 26.04.2022. After this Bhagwan Das Patwari entered mutation no 11123 dated 8.7.2022 and received approval on 14.07.2022.

When complainant Gurtej Singh came to know about this he lodged a complaint, then Bhagwan Das Patwari made correction entry no 16 dated 18.07.2022 but failed to reference mutation no 11123 dated 18.07.2022 based on sale deed/vasika no 53 dated 26.04.2022.

The spokesperson stated that further investigation into the case was underway, and the remaining accused would be apprehended soon.


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