Sale of Railway land by Jyotiraditya Scindia illegal, says Gwalior court

ग्वालियर Gwalior (GWL): Former Union minister and Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia suffered a big jolt after revenue court of Gwalior collector cancelled mutation of land sold by him in 2008, calling it illegal.

Also, court ordered the tehsildar to cancel sale-letter issued by then local administration on basis of a power of attorney produced by Scindia. Current market value of land is more than Rs 13 crore.

The controversial land is located in Gwalior’s Mehalgaon village which belonged to Gwalior Light Railway (GLR), also known as Maharaja Railways of India, now part of North Central Railway, years after independence.

The plot (khasra no. 394), valued at crores of rupees, is located on the either side of 2-foot narrow gauge GLR which is 199.8 km long and runs from Gwalior to Sheopur Kalan. The railway line was launched by Maharaja Madhav Roa II and completed in 1909. Maharaja Madhav Rao II Scindia was founder of GLR which runs 200 km from Gwalior to Sheopur Kalan in Madhya Pradesh through 27 stations. It branches into Bhind, Shivpuri, Morar, Kampu Koti and Sheopur Kalan and is now managed by Central Railways department of Indian Railways.

“GLR is now property of Indian Railways. Scindia sold the land, claiming it to be the part of his ancestral property in 1999. Then tehsildar had issued mutation certificate in collusion with those involved in the deal. No-due certificate was issued by sub-divisional magistrate. The mutation and no-dues on this land has been cancelled,” said a government officer.

Documents examined during the hearing by revenue court found the former minister had no legal right on the land he sold to Ashok Jain, Kokila Jain, Swapnil Jain, Ragvendra Singh Tomar, Chandra Prakash Sharma and Rajeev Tripathi. A showroom that came up on this land after sale, will now be demolished, said sources.

The decision was taken in compliance with a recent high court order which ruled that government properties was sold through fraudulent means should be reacquired after hearing claims.

State Economic Offences wing (EOW) is looking into complaints against Scindia in another case of alleged land-grab. It also served notices to the revenue department of Gwalior district in connection with its investigations against former Scindia and members of two charitable trusts run by his family on a complaint of land-grab against them. A businessman had approached EOW, accusing Scindia and his family of illegally selling prime government land to a realtor in Gwalior in 2006.