Ramdev land row: HP govt ready for out-of-court settlement



Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government Friday offered an "out of court" settlement with yoga teacher Ramdev on the issue of cancellation of land leased to his trust.

"Himachal Pradesh government is not averse to out of the court settlement with yoga teacher Ramdev on the cancellation of land leased to Patanjali Yogapeeth in case the Yogapeeth Trust makes any such offer," state revenue minister Kaul Singh Thakur today said.

The offer came two days after the HP High Court directed the state government to maintain status quo on Ramdev's land.

The court's February 27 order had come less than a week after the state government took possession of the land in Solan district alleging that previous BJP government had violated state's laws in allotting the plot.

"There is no question of any political vendetta and we are on a very strong legal ground and action to cancel the lease and resume the land has been taken as the land lease violated the norms and laws but at the same time, we are not against any amicable settlement," the minister said.

However, Thakur said that the state government would defend its action in the court.

He said that since trust has gone to the court, the offer for out of the court settlement has to be from the Trust but for any settlement the government would carry out the evaluation of the property built up by the trust on the leased land on its own and then proceed further.

Thakur said the Congress, while in opposition, had opposed the then BJP government's move to extend 96.5 bighas of land on lease to Patanjali in violation of norms at Sadhupul in Solan district.

"It formed part of Congress's charge sheet against the then BJP government. That is why we have taken immediate action on it," he said.

Thakur said the government had followed proper procedures and would not like to demolish the structure raised on it.

PTI