Jharkhand High Court on Thursday quashed the appeal filed by the state government against the single bench verdict in favour of Poonam Pandey land case. 

The double bench comprising Justice Sujeet Narayan Prasad and Justice Arun Kumar Rai provided relief to Poonam Pandey, wife of ex DGP DK Pandey by upholding the verdict of the single bench against the state government. 

 In the past,the then Chief Minister Hemant Soren had ordered Jharkhand DGP DK Pandey and his family as the Jharkhand government has ordered cancellation of mutation of 50.9 decimal of land purchased in the name of his wife Poonam Pandey.  

In fact,Pandey along with 28 other people had purchased government land under mauja Chama in Kanke block of state capital. 

Pandey even constructed a house on the land. Pandey got the land transferred on his wife Poonam Pandey’s name when he was serving as DGP of Jharkhand. He retired in May 2019. Over 300 decimal of land of khata 87, plot number 1232 of Chama mauja was transferred to private persons. 

A fake land owner was allegedly produced during the land registration process whereas this was a government land listed under land bank category. 

That fake land owner named as Amod Kumar could not be traced. It was revealed that many powerful persons and IPS officials had purchased the government land. 

Some revenue department officials were alleged for manipulating government records to facilitate sale and purchase of government. The matter came to light in 2019 when anomalies in the land records were detected and the government ordered an inquiry. 

As Chief Minister,Hemant Soren who ordered cancellation of Jamabandi is also learnt to have directed the department to initiate departmental action against officials and employees found guilty for tempering with records of such government lands. 

That time inquiry was set-up against the then circle officer of Kanke block Prabhat Bhushan Singh, the then circle inspector Chanchal Kishore Prasad besides other employees of revenue department namely Bhuvneshwar Prasad Singh, Rahul Kumar Choubey, Vimal Chand Bose, Md Khalid Aazmi, Dilip Kumar Mahto and Shailesh Kumar. 

The inquiry reached a final conclusion after two years of hearing where defendants were given ample time to produce documents to prove the sale and purchase was bona fide. 

That decision of the government was challenged by Poonam Pandey in the high court. In turn, the high court held that the state government’s petition was not based on facts. 

The state government challenged the single bench decision. In response, the double bench held the single bench verdict valid. 

This has freed Poonam Pandey from allegations of land grab in Jharkhand.

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