Uttarakhand Govt slaps 81 cases on Ramdev’s Patanjali Trust

Cases relate to illegal possession of land, benami transactions

DEHRADUN (TIP): A thorn in the eyes of the UPA-led Congress government, the Uttarakhand government has finally nailed Yoga Guru Ramdev by registering 81 cases against Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust in Haridwar pertaining to illegal possession of Gram Sabha and government land, benami transactions and undervaluation of stamp duty causing loss of revenue worth crores to the state.

The Yoga Guru has been facing CBI heat in the case related to a missing teacher. Doubts have been raised about the quality of products manufactured by his Patanjali Yog forcing Swami Ramdev to proclaim that the Centre was using the CBI against him. But the Wednesday’s disclosures by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna enumerating 81 cases of gross violations are by far the gravest blow to the Yoga Guru. And with Ramdev opposed to the UPA-led Congress government, the issue is expected to gain currency in the elections. “The rules have been broken with impunity, transactions of several crores have been made without caring for the law of the land. Yet Swami Ram Dev never fails to moralize.

A lot more needs to be unearthed. The inquiry is still on by the District Magistrate and Collector, Haridwar, and action would also be taken against the officers who facilitated these transactions,” said Vijay Bahuguna while talking to media persons November 20. He said that 27 cases have registered under sections 154 (4) (3)(B)/166/167 Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms (ZALR) Act, 1950, for vesting such land back to the state. A total of 52 cases have been instituted under section 47 of Indian Stamps Act. “The benefits under section 143 of the ZALR Act (change of land use) that were granted to Patanjali have been blatantly violated.

Notices have been served on the trust to vest these lands with the government under section 168 of the ZALR,” said Bahuguna. Two cases have been registered under section 122 ZALR Act involving approximately 7.766 acres of land. The noose seems to be tightening on Yoga Guru in connection with the purchase of 141.17 acres of land for manufacturing Ayurvedic medicines in Mustafabad village which, according to the district authorities, was being used for manufacturing flour, oil, honey and soap. Further 387.5 acres of land was purchased for Patanjali University in Aurangabad village and Shivdaspur (Teliwala). According to the report prepared by the District Magistrate, 84.86 acres of land has been purchased in Mustafabad village in the name of Patanjali without permission.

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The irregularities
● Reports say 141.17 acres of land was purchased for manufacturing Ayurvedic medicines which, district authorities say, was being used for making flour, oil, honey and soap.
● Further 387.5 acres of land was purchased for establishment of Patanjali University. But the university has been set up in an insignificant portion of the land.
● According to a report, 84.86 acres of land has been purchased in Mustafabad village in the name of Patanjali Food and Herbal Park without taking permission from the District Magistrate.

Aide refutes charge
Acharya Balkrishan, a close aide of Baba Ramdev and managing director of the Patanjali Trust has denied the allegation of irregularities leveled against the trust and Baba Ramdev by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna. In a statement issued here, Balkrishan said they had not received any legal notice or information regarding such discrepancies.

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