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Posted at: Oct 12, 2018, 12:02 AM; last updated: Oct 12, 2018, 12:02 AM (IST)MANDI KHURD LANDFILL SCANDAL

High Court to hear final argument on Nov 19

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 11

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has decided to hear final argument on the CBI report in the Mandi Khurd solid waste landfill site scandal on November 19.

The case had been put on the back-burner for more than three and a half years. The last hearing in the case had taken place in the High Court on February 2, 2015, but now, petitioner Jarnail Singh has moved an application and demanded hearing in the case.

In this incident, the role of two IAS, one PCS and one Youth Akali Dal leader, who is also a close aide of powerful SAD leader, is under scanner.

It is learnt that if the court gives nod for further action, then the Municipal Corporation of Bathinda (MCB) would have no objection on it as it seems that Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu is in favour of action against the accused in the case.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered a CBI probe into the issue after a resident of Mandi Khurd village, Jarnail Singh, filed a petition against the acquisition of land for the plant in 2012.

The 36.81 acres bought for Rs 1.59 crore was sold off at Rs 8.67 crore to the government.

In the petition, Jarnail Singh had stated that the state government had decided to acquire 36.81 acres in the village for the project to install engineered sanitary landfill facility near Bathinda, wherein the residue of garbage, treated at the solid waste plant in the city, would be dumped.

He alleged that three businessmen, including one close to a former SAD minister, benefited by around Rs 5.63 crore through the acquisition. It resulted in losses running into crores for the state exchequer.

The petition alleged that the businessmen knew that around 36 acres was to be acquired in Mandi Khurd for the plant and bought this land at cheaper rates.

The businessmen got heavy compensation from the government when it acquired the land in February 2011.

It said a survey of the land in Mandi Khurd was conducted in 2010. Most of the land had been purchased by politically influential families on February 18 and February 23, 2010, for Rs 1.59 crore.

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