Beniwal may be named in Rs 1,000-cr land grab case

Petitioner to move application before Jaipur court

Beniwal may be named in Rs 1,000-cr land grab case

More troubles are in the offing for former Mizoram governor and veteran Congress leader Kamla Beniwal. 

After being removed as the governor of Mizoram, Beniwal may now be named as one of the accused in the Rs 1,000 crore land grab case, which is being heard in a local court here.  Earlier, the court refused to consider Beniwal as the accused in the case as she enjoyed immunity under article 360 and 361 of the Constitution. 

“Earlier the court had refused to consider Beniwal as one of the accused in this case, despite the police investigation which held Beniwal and 16 others guilty for grabbing the land. Being a governor, she enjoyed immunity, but now she doesn’t hold any post. We will now move an application requesting the court to name her as one of the accused in this case,” said A K Jain, advocate of social activist Sanjay Agarwal, who had filed a case of criminal offence against Beniwal and others. 

Jain informed that the next hearing will take place on August 27 and since there are no legal riders, Beniwal will be one of the accused in this case.  

On August 27, 2012, a case of criminal offence was filed in the Metropolitan court against Beniwal and 16 others accusing them of grabbing land worth Rs 1,000 crore illegally. In November 2012, the court directed the local police to investigate the matter and submit a detailed inquiry report. The police submitted the report on May 15 this year.

“The probe was initiated at a slow pace during Congress rule. After the change in government, the police submitted the report before the court on May 15, 2014. In the investigation, the police have found Beniwal and 16 others guilty of land grabbing,” said Jain. 

He said that 384 bigha (218.34 acres) of government land was initially allotted to Kisan Samuhik Krishi Sahkari Samiti Limited (KSKKSSL) in Jaipur. The allotment was done in 1953 at a very nominal price of Rs 25 per acre and in 1970 Beniwal became a member of this society and allegedly used her influence to extend the lease period.

“The lease of land expired in 1978 and the land's ownership automatically got transferred to the state government. When society members are not the land owners, they have no right to claim compensation in lieu of land acquisition,” said Jain. 

But they did claim compensation and cheated the state government for personal benefit, he added. 

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