Rane rejects land grab charge, wants to give land to temple

The temple trust situated in Mahabaleshwar has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court alleging that a piece of land belonging to it was illegally sold to Nilam Rane.

The land in question -- survey number 109 -- was in possession of Radhabai Mahabaleshwar. In 1945, Sureshchandra Panchal bought the land, Rane said. In 1985, the land came to be wrongly registered in the name of the temple trust against which Panchal had filed the complaint, he added.

Following Panchal's complaint, the record was amended by the Revenue Department in 2008, Rane claimed.

Nilam bought almost half acre (18 guntha) land from Panchal since he wanted money for treatment of his ill son. Following due process and paying Rs 1.40 lakh the land was purchased 15 years ago, the minister said.

"The land deal was completely transparent and legal. But if the temple trust wants the land, I would give it to them with permission from the court," Rane said here.

The HC had yesterday stayed the sale transaction between Panchal and Rane and directed no further development should take place on it till further orders.

According to the Shrikshetra Mahabaleshwar Devasthan Trust, which has moved the HC, the entry in the land records showing the land as belonging to it was deleted in 2008 by the Revenue Department for no reason and without giving the trust any hearing.

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