Press Trust of india

CBI registers 2 FIRs related to enemy property scam; conduct searches

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New Delhi:  The CBI has registered two FIRs against officials managing enemy properties for allegedly leasing out over 100 acres of prime commercial land in Uttar Pradesh at nominal rates by showing these as ponds, officials said.

They said the alleged scam is related to enemy properties — which were left behind by those who took citizenship of China and Pakistan — in Lucknow, Barabanki and Sitapur. Enemy properties are currently vested with the Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI).

The officials said the agency is also conducting searches at 15 locations in Lucknow, Delhi, Kolkata and Barabanki in connection with the case.

The central agency has booked Samandar Singh Rana, the then officiating  Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI) at Delhi; Utpal Chakraborty, Assistant Custodian and Ramesh Chandra Tewari, a retired Supervisor (both based in Lucknow) under Indian Penal Code sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) and 471 (forgery) and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act related to bribery, they said.

In addition, the CBI has also named 15 beneficiaries as accused in the FIR.

Enemy properties vested with CEPI are the left behind assets of Indians who took Chinese and Pakistani nationality after wars with these countries. The government took over these properties under The Defence of India Act, 1962 after their migration and change in nationality.

“A property of an individual or a company recorded in the name of an enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm at the crucial vesting period i.e. from September 10, 1965 to September 26, 1977 is treated as an enemy property strictly as per procedures laid down in the Enemy property Rules, 2015,” according to the Home Ministry’s website. Properties of Chinese and Pakistani national/companies were vested with the CEPI as enemy properties, it adds.

The FIR said that the officials of CEPI allegedly colluded with beneficiaries by “forging and manipulating lease agreements in favour of lessees” and grating lease without agreements.

It also alleged leases were regularised without the approval of the Central government, by waiving of lease rental arrears, unauthorised out of court settlements and other illegal means, causing loss of revenue to the government.

One of the beneficiaries was Ramesh Chandra Tewari’s brother Avinash Tewari, posted in the revenue department of the state, who got the lease of over eight acre of prime land having a mango orchard with 177 trees at annual rate of Rs 5,000 as against the market rate of Rs 5.55 lakh per annum, the enquiry done by the CEPI, they said.

The CBI has also named as accused beneficiaries named Ram Pratap Singh, Babu Lal, Swapna Singh, Sivaz Iqbal and Mohrin Iqbal, Anup Roy, Sunil Kumar Bajpayee, Om Prakash Singh, Gyanendra Tiwari, Jainuddin Md Siddique, Umair Sivaz, Bilal Ahmed, Diwakar, Rudresh Pandey and Vinay Srivastava

It is alleged that loss of over Rs 1.45 crore was caused to the government in three years, they said.

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