There are two amendments to an old Bill going back a hundred years or so, which are impacting a large number of powerful people, especially in Punjab but also in Haryana. The Punjab Amendment refers in the first case. The strength of this Amendment is expected to be even more than the repeal of the Roshni Act in Jammu & Kashmir.
The Punjab Amendment goes even further, because here it appears to also impact a huge amount of money laundering in as much as sale and purchase also involved a much larger number by amount of foreign transactions. Do remember – the Act goes back to 1887 – and there are parcels of land which have not been legitimately bought, sold or partitioned for over a hundred years as per the Record of Rights maintained under the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887 (Act No.XVII of 1887)
Who got the lands, originally, in 1887 is also important to remember. In the intervening period between 1857 and 1887, land was allotted mostly, if not totally, to the classes of people who were considered “loyal” to the British. I know about this because it included my ancestors – though our land got swallowed up in Jhung-Meghiana (now in West Pakistan) during the confusion of 1947 and subsequently in Rohtak in the ’70s. These are stories I grew up listening to, and for sure, my grandfather’s and father’s names are there in some records forgotten somewhere in locations as diverse as Rohtak (now in Haryana) and Kullu (now in Himachal Pradesh) – which I may take up as soon as they are digitised and put in the public domain.
Incidentally, land records are already up in the public domain in many parts of India, including Delhi – and if you are interested, you can use this website to find out who owns what. Connaught Place, for example, is fascinating!
But coming back to Punjab for now, and why there is so much concern amongst especially the land-owning and more importantly in this article the sarkari land-grabbing classes, and specifically with that important category, making so much noise with their luxury car horns in Punjab Extension No. 1 (Canada) Punjab Extension No. 2 (West Coast USA) and Punjab Extension No. 3 (United Kingdom).
Please click through and read the interesting document listed below which is top of mind for all and the big elephant in the room.
The first part takes care of all land that was grabbed from what can broadly be referred to as “Public Land”, vested variously in the Government, the Bhoodan Yajna (Land Ceiling), Waqf Board and also involving what was known as “Enemy Property”. There is also a reference to “Shamlat Deh” lands, or lands allotted to refugees from what is now in Pakistan.
The second Section of this part, dealing with sarkari land grabbed, puts multiple nails in the coffin of land that has been grabbed, developed, sold, re-sold or otherwise transacted.
” (2) Any document registered in contravention of Sub Section (1) of this Section shall not affect any immovable property compromised therein, or be received as evidence of any transaction affecting such property.”
The fine print here is – ” (d) a document relating to transfer of property by way of agreement for sale, sale, gift, exchange or permanent alienation of lease or otherwise pertaining to any immovable property which is attached permanently or provisional the by any competent authority under any Central Act or State Act for the time being in force or any Court or Tribunal.”
In the next article, I shall discuss how private land that was grabbed and sold off, is being reviewed. The wording will need to be very careful because specific powerful sub-sects are the main culprits – but enough hints exist to join the dots.
There is, incidentally, in addition, a huge reversal of Cyprus Golden Passports issued to people who managed to raise a lot of money by selling land that did not belong to them, also taking place right now. A Cyprus passport gave their new owners access to the complete European Union. Guess which sub-sect of which community from which State were the biggest group involved?
A good number of large land-owners in Punjab are going to see their documents reviewed soon. Thus, the angst, also. It’s the Kagaz-Nahin-Dikhayenge syndrome revisited. And that’s the nub of the matter.
Veeresh Malik was a seafarer. And a lot more besides. A decade in facial biometrics, which took him into the world of finance, gaming, preventive defence and money laundering before the subliminal mind management technology blew his brains out. His romance with the media endures since 1994, duly responded by Outlook, among others.
A survivor of two brain-strokes, triggered by a ship explosion in the 70s, Veeresh moved beyond fear decades ago.