GREATER NOIDA: A land fraud, in which nearly five hectares of custodian' plots in Shahberi area, having a collective value of Rs 350 crore, have been usurped and sold to private investors by the land mafia in connivance with district land officials over the past 30 years, has been unearthed in Greater Noida.
Several people, including three employees of the land department, were booked under various sections of the IPC, including that of cheating and forgery, by the Gautam Budh Nagar police on Tuesday. However, no arrests have been made so far.
Custodian plot is a land that belonged to people who left for Pakistan, after the partition. The land remains vested with the Indian government and cannot be allotted to anyone.
District administration officials said the market value of the 50,000 sq m (five hectares) of land is Rs 350 cr. The scam came to light after they received several complaints that some people have been illegally plotting land in Shahberi and selling them.
"After receiving repeated complaints, a team of district officials, along with the tehsildar of the area, carried out a probe. We found that Khasra (plot) numbers 13, 30, 68, 69, 124, 125, 186, 187 and 205, which are part of custodian land located in Greater Noida area, have been illegally usurped," said Rajesh Yadav, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), Dadri. "Following the probe report, district magistrate NP Singh ordered that a complaint be filed with the police so that penal action can be taken against those involved in the land scam," he said.
According to him, three land department employees Kiran Pal Singh Rathi, assistant land consolidation officer, GB Nagar, consolidation worker Mushtaq Ali and consolidation lekhpal Jagdish Saran were involved.
"Others involved in the fraud include Attaal Ali, Abhay Ram and Aman Singh. They modus operandi was simple. Ali would first sold a plot to Ram and Singh, who in turn would sold it to other people. In this way, a particular plot would change hands several times," the SDM said.
"We are conducting a thorough probe into the matter and more such fraud could come to light. Officials, including the lekhpals, have been asked to prepare a report within 15 days and submit a report so that appropriate action can be taken," he added.