Shimla: Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday expressed regret over the reported statement of lawyer Prashant Bhushan that the state's decision to vest the land purchased by KBES in the government was "political".
Talking to mediapersons here, the Chief Minister said Kumud Bhushan Education Society (KBES), promoted by Bhushan's family, had purchased the land in relaxation of certain laws and the land was not used for the specific purpose for which it was purchased.
He also recalled that a notice in this respect was issued by the previous BJP government.
The Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, had decided to vest the land in the name of the government after going exhaustibly through the case, he said.
"I am sorry that a person like Prashant Bhushan, who enjoys a high status in the society, behaves in a manner uncalled for and issue statements which are baseless," Virbhadra told reporters.
"Notice was issued to him during the BJP government and numerous hearings and proceedings had taken place during that period also," he said.
Referring to illegal sale and purchase of lands under tea gardens in Palampur, Chief Minister said that tea gardens, not only in Himachal, but in other parts of the country were exempted from the Land Ceiling Act and the state government would ensure that no sale or purchase of the gardens takes place.
The government would not allow sale or transfer of the tea gardens except in cases of transferred/partitioned within a family.
"We will frame stringent laws and enforce it strictly to curb sale or purchase of tea estates, and the purchase of tea gardens in the past, and violations, if any, would be looked into," he said.