HC reprieves Big B in Barabanki land case

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Lucknow, Dec 11: In a major relief to Amitabh Bachchan, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court today disposed off his Barabanki agricultural land case and ordered that no criminal proceedings would be initiated against him. The single judge bench of Justice A N Verma said today that since Mr Bachchan had already abandoned his claims to the land and the same had been accepted by the state government and the gram sabha, the case stood disposed off. The Judge also observed that no criminal proceedings would be initiated against him.

In its judgement, the single judge bench said the controversial land would now belong to the Daulatpur Gram Sabha.

The Bollywood megastar had challenged the Faizabad Division Additional Commissioner Administration, Vidya Sagar Prasad's order, quashing the allotment of agricultural land at Daulatpur village in Barabanki district to him.

On March 24, 2006, the then Barabanki District Magistrate, Ashish Goel had ordered sealing of land records pertaining to the allotment of land to Mr Bachchan.

Later, the Additional Commissioner's court had also affirmed this step, which was challenged by him.

In earlier hearings, the UP government had stated that the allotment of land was illegal, since it was not posted in the original revenue records.

The government mentioned that Mr Bachchan had committed fraud by claiming he was a resident of 17, Clive Road, Allahabad, in his application for farmland allotment in Barabanki.

The state Chief Standing Counsel said Bachchan's father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, lived at the said residence till 1958 after which the house was sold out.

The former Mulayam Singh Yadav government, had allotted three bighas (about 70,000 sq ft) of prime land at Daulatpur village in Barabanki District to Mr Bachchan.

The actor had managed issuance of documents in his name, which identified him as a farmer and on the basis of these, he got a 24 acre plot of agricultural land at Lonavala, Pune in mid-1990s.

However, the Faizabad Additional Commissioner, who has judicial powers in land disputes, had ruled that the 1993 Barabanki land transfer in his name was illegal.

Mr Prasad said the DM's certificate had been obtained with forged land revenue documents.


UNI

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