Himachal seizes two properties 'owned' by Chautalas
Shimla, Dec 17 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government has confiscated two properties suspected to be owned by late deputy prime minister Devi Lal and his grandson Ajay Chautala.
Kullu Deputy Commissioner B.M. Nanta ordered the forfeiture of the 'benami' properties - one located near Kullu town and the other in picturesque resort Manali - for violation of land laws.
'The decision to vest the properties was taken Dec 14 after following the entire revenue procedure. These were purchased in violation of Section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Land Reforms and Tenancy Act,' Nanta told IANS.
Under the law, only the state's permanent residents can buy land in the state. Others who want to purchase land for non-agricultural purposes have to seek relaxation from the government under Section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act.
He said one of the properties was located near the airport in Bhuntar, near Kullu, while the other is in Manali, where a grand hotel had come up.
Officials in the revenue department, who did not want to be named, said the Kullu property allegedly belonged to Devi Lal whereas the one in Manali belonged to Ajay Chautala, the elder son of former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala.
They said the process to take possession of the properties started in 1997 and was completed recently.