In the written reply given by Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur in the Vidhan Sabha, including Priyanka Vadra and Prashant Bhushan, as many as 246 cases of violation of Section 118 of the Land Reform and Tenancy Act have been registered during 2010-12. In his reply revenue minister revealed that the government had granted permissions to over 900 non-agriculturists to buy land during the past three years.
It’s notable that section 118 debars the non-agriculturists from acquiring agricultural land in the state without prior permission of the government.
Priyanka Gandhi was given permission to purchase 922 sq m of land in Charabra, near Shimla and Aam Aadmi Party leader Prashant Bhushan was allowed to acquire 4.68 hectares near Palampur in Kangra district in 2010 for Kumud Bhushan Educational Society. In this list three private universities and 52 educational societies were also granted permissions for purchasing the land.
Out of the 246 cases of violation of Section 118, 110 have been disposed of and 136 are pending. A maximum number of 61 violations were in Shimla district, followed by 47 in Hamirpur, 40 in Solan, 30 in Sirmaur and 28 in Kangra.
The matter of land transactions was raised by Congress Jubbal-Kotkhai MLA Rohit Thakur, BJP legislator Mahendra Singh and Himachal Lokhit Party leader Maheshwar Singh during question hour.