HC relief to Bachchan in agri land case

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Lucknow, Dec 11 (UNI) In a major relief to actor Amitabh Bachchan, the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court today disposed off his Barabanki gram sabha land case and ordered that no criminal, civil or revenue proceedings would be initiated against him.

The single judge bench of Justice A N Verma said today since Mr Bachchan had already abandoned his claim to the land and the gram sabha had accepted it, the case stood disposed off.

The Judge also observed that no criminal, civil or revenue proceedings would be initiated against him in future related to this case.

Besides, the court also gave direction that the petitioner would not make his claim on the disputed land in future.

In its judgement, the bench said the controversial land would now belong to the Daulatpur Gram Sabha as per the earlier decision of the orders of the additional divisional commissioner of Faizabad, delivered on June 1, 2007 and of the District Magistrate, Barabanki on April 24, 2006.

The chief standing counsel Devendra Upadhaya said the government was studying the order and would act accordingly. He also did not rule out government moving the Supreme Court against the decision.

On the other hand, Bachchan's counsel Virendra Bhatia said it was a major relief to his client and it vindicates the government move to ''harass'' the mega star.

Mr Bachchan 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, 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 Mr Bachchan.

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 Mr Barabanki.

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

The former Mulayam Singh Yadav government had allotted three bighas (about 70,000 sq ft) of prime land plot no 702 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 Lonavla, 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.


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