Shimla: Rejecting Union Minister VB Singh`s
charge that Himachal Pradesh government had violated laws for
giving a tea estate to a trust linked to Team Anna member
Prashant Bhushan, Chief Minister P K Dhumal on Monday alleged that
the previous Congress regime led by Singh had granted dozens
of such permissions during 2003 and 2007.
Hitting back at Singh, Dhumal said the Congress government
headed by Singh had granted "dozens of such permissions during
2003 and 2007 in relaxation of provisions of Section 118 of
Tenancy and Land Reforms Act and section 6 and 6A of Ceiling
on Land Holdings Act to buy tea estate land in Palampur,
Dharamsala and Baijnath".
Himachal Revenue Minister Gulab Singh Thakur said that the
BJP government granted permission in one case only and
Prashant Bhushan`s Kumud Bhushan Educational Society was
granted permission under Section 118 of the HP Tenancy and
Land Reforms Act to buy 4.68 hectares of land at Palampur for
building an educational institution on February 2, 2010.
The owner of the land, a resident of Kamlehar (Palampur)
village was granted permission to transfer this tea garden to
Bhushan`s society in relaxation of sections 6-A and 7-A of the
HP Ceiling Act, 1972 and the society was also allowed "change
in land use".
Under section 6 A of the Ceiling Act, "if the land
exempted under Ceiling Act is put without the permission of
the State Government to any other use than raising or
maintenance of tea plantation or a purpose subservient to tea
plantation, it shall be treated as surplus area and shall be
deemed to have been acquired by the state government for a
The tea estates were exempted under the Ceiling Act on the
basis of their nomenclature as "tea gardens".
Sources claimed the Congress government had granted
permission for diversion of tea estates in about 30 cases in
The Congress government even gave permissions to non-
Himachalis, including two Tibetan trusts, they alleged.