Rane's wife in the dock

Shri Kshetra Mahabaleshwar Devasathan Trust, a temple body in Satara district of South Maharashtra, has alleged that over 20,000 square feet of the temple land in a prime area in the hill station was sold to Rane’s wife after changes were made in the property records by a desk officer in the revenue department.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud asked the parties to maintain status quo and not undertake any development on the property.
The trust was set up about 80 years ago based on court orders to manage lands donated to the temple since the times of Chhatrapati Shivaji. These lands are called “inam” (reward or grant) land.

Two years ago, the trust discovered that two acres of land  under its custody was missing from revenue land records and were shown in the name of a Mumbai resident. The land records also showed that this Mumbai resident in turn sold 20,000 sq ft (about half an acre) land to Neelima Rane.

Subsequently, the trust moved the high court, which has given the stay on the sale.
According to the trust’s lawyers Nitin Jamdar and Vijay Killedar, the revenue minister’s wife is a beneficiary of the modifications in the property records.  “This leads to an irresistible conclusion that the decision was vitiated by mala fide intentions,” they alleged.
DH News Service

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