MP govt order inquiry into Trust's land deal



Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government has ordered an inquiry into alleged irregularities in the purchase of about 1,100 acres of land, worth crores of rupees, by an education trust in Sehore district.

According to the documents accessed under the Right to Information by activist Ajay Dubey, Kohli Edutech Private Limited, headed by former Mizoram Governor Amolak Rattan Kohli, had allegedly purchased the land by flouting official norms.

Kohli, however, has denied the charges.

"I have been a constitutional head and I would be the last person to be associated with anything that is illegal especially when we are seeking to set up an education city," he said.

The documents said the land was purchased from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes people living below the poverty line, and without getting prior permission from the district collector concerned.

Confirming the irregularities, Madhya Pradesh Revenue Minister Karan Singh Verma said, "Officials have been told to probe the case. I will be able to tell more only when I have the report."

Sources said the role of some senior government officials, including two former Collectors, was also being looked to ascertain whether they had allegedly favoured the trust in executing the deal.

A detailed report is sought from Bhopal Commissioner in this regard, they said.

According to officials, the land measuring 1,120 acres was purchased with a proposal to develop education city including shopping mall, multiplexes and golf course among others in violation of the agreement.

"We have followed every point in letter and spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2007 between the company and the MP Government’s investment arm MPTRIFAC.

"We welcome any probe in the matter. There has been no irregularity in the purchase of land. We have followed all government norms," Kohli said.

Sources said the role of some senior government officials, including two former collectors, was also being looked into for allegedly favouring the trust in executing the deal.

A detailed report is sought from Bhopal Commissioner in this regard, they said.

"There have been many irregularities in the deal. The documents clearly show that some of the state government officials was aware of it but decided to be quiet. We want MP Government to probe this matter thoroughly and put its investigation cum action taken report on the matter in public domain," Dubey said.

Kohli said, "It is possible that some vested private interests are seeking to vitiate the atmosphere around such a unique and much needed project that takes education and other benefits of urbanisation into the rural and backward areas. Ultimately only the truth will prevail."

PTI