Inquiry initiated into Sinnar temple land grab

30 December,2010 06:36 AM IST |   |  Vinod Kumar Menon

Nashik charity commissioner's office initiates inquiry into the case which also involves former revenue minister Narayan Rane

Nashik charity commissioner*s office initiates inquiry into the case which also involves former revenue minister Narayan Rane

THE charity commissioner*s office in Nashik has initiated an inquiry into the Sinnar temple land grab case involving former revenue minister Narayan Rane following MiD DAY*s expos ufffd and sustained coverage of the

Narayan Rane

Officials said they have checked the official documents and Bombay Public Trust registers, which clearly mention that the said 73.11 acres of land is registered in the name of the Chitleshwar Temple Trust.

The officers said that they had not received any request from any applicant or trustee to make a modification in the title and, thus, the conversion of the land from agricultural to non-agricultural and its subsequent sale is null and void.

Confirming the move, Vishwanath Tayade, Superintendent Charity Commissioner, Nashik, said, "Charity Inspector Vijay Kumar Dainje has been instructed to carry out an inquiry into the issue. An anonymous complaint about the issue was also received by us a few weeks back."

Meanwhile, whistleblower S Rathod, retired bureaucrat and former Raigad collector, said he had found further evidence to prove that Rane*s order for converting the land was against the rules.
Rane had used the Joglekar Manual as a basis for his order, which can only be done when the land*s trust is defunct.u00a0

However, a charity commissioner officer inspected the functioning of the Chitleshwar Temple Trust in 2009 and also issued instructions in writing to improve the functioning of the trust thereby giving an official confirmation of the fact that the trust is active and functioning.

Officials said the Charity Commissioner*s office will submit its report before the High Court, which is scheduled to hear a PIL on the issue, when it is asked to do so.

Asi Link?
The State Archaeological Department in Nashik said that while the Chitleshwar Mahadeo Temple is under the purview of the Ancient Remains Act, the land owned by it isn*t. "The entire land is registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act and the archaeological department has nothing to do with it," said R A Kulkarni from the department.

Land Grab
In a PIL filed before the Bombay High Court on December 23, Rane was accused of declaring 73.11 acres of prime agricultural land belonging to the Chitleshwar Temple Trust as non-agricultural and taxable, thereby facilitating its illegal sale by relatives of the original trustees.

Within weeks of this order, 39.11 acres of the land, valued at Rs 100 crore, was sold for a mere Rs 2.5 crore. The order was passed despite the Revenue Ministry having no jurisdiction over the land, which is recognised as Trust land under the Bombay Trust Act and comes under the jurisdiction of the Nashik Charity Commissioner, who was allegedly not even informed or consulted before the order was passed.
Nashik charity Narayan Rane Sinnar temple land grab
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