Ahmedabad: Gujarat government submitted a report before the Gujarat High Court on Thursday giving a "clean chit" to its Chief Secretary DJ Pandian in an alleged land purchase scam in the state's solar park project in Patan district.
Advocate General Kamal Trivedi placed the report of the state's Revenue department before the division bench of acting Chief Justice V M Sahai and Justice R P Dholaria with regard to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which alleged around 918 hectares of land was purchased by Gujarat government in 2011 by paying a price 20 times more than its market rate.
After going through the probe report, the High Court division bench said Gujarat government has given a "clean chit" to the Chief Secretary.
On August 27, the Gujarat High Court had directed a probe against the Chief Secretary for his role in allegedly paying excess compensation to acquire land for a solar park.
"The investigation report shall indicate whether in addition to any irregularities in payment of compensation and pilferage of public funds, there is any element of involvement of any officers or individuals in commission of offence punishable under law," the High Court order had said.
Pandian was Managing Director (MD) of state-run Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL) in 2011 when the land was purchased and was promoted as chief secretary in October this year.
A local Congress leader Farsu Goklani had filed the PIL in 2012 alleging a small group of people had purchased a large chunk of land in Charanka in Patan district just before issuance of a notification in 2011 that a solar park would be established near Charanka village.
Later, GPCL purchased 918 hectares of land from those people within a year by paying them upto Rs 51 lakh though the last sale price of the same plot was merely Rs 1 lakh, the PIL alleged.
The chunk of land was purchased by private owners between January 2010 and February 2011 while it was sold to Gujarat government in October 2011, the PIL said.
The Gujarat high court has posted the case for further hearing after four weeks.