High Court quashes stay on freeing forest land of Asaram’s Ashram

Lease deed not renewed after expiry in 1970, non-forest activities on without permission

The High Court of Uttarakhand has quashed an earlier stay on the forest department order for vacating the Ashram of jailed preacher Asaram Bapu on forest land in Rishikesh. With the stay being quashed, the forest department can now remove the Ashram from forest land. According to the case details, the lease on the said land at Muni ki Reti in Rishikesh had expired in 1970 and not renewed. Due to this, the forest department had in 2013 issued a notice for vacating the said land. Later in 2013, the high court had ordered a stay on the implementation of the forest department notice. The forest department had received a complaint seeking that Asaram’s Ashram be removed from the said forest land since the lease period for the land had expired. His request to be made a respondent in the petition filed on behalf of Asaram was accepted by the court which had directed him to file an affidavit. In his affidavit, the complainant also present a copy of the original lease deed signed for a period of 20 years in 1950. Advocate Kartikey Hari Gupta said that he had informed the court that the forest department had issued a notice to the body concerned during February 2013 regarding illegal construction at the said Ashram. Gupta further informed that in its order, the high court single bench has stated that the lease deed expired in 1970 and was not renewed. It is clear that the management of the Ashram was conducting non-forest activities without the permission of the forest department. Considering this, the high court quashed the earlier stay order.

NH-74 Bail application: One rejected, three approved

The High Court of Uttarakhand has rejected the bail petition of Priya Sharma-one of the accused in the national highway 74 scam. The matter was taken up for hearing by the single bench of justice Sudhanshu Dhulia. According to the case details, an FIR had been lodged in January 2018 in the Rudrapur police station in which it was stated that she had given Rs 1.5 crore to a data entry operator for depositing in an account. This amount was to be given to some official as commission. During an investigation, Priya Sharma told the investigating officer that the money was a security deposit for a plot of land. Meanwhile, the single bench of justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari granted bail to other accused in the scam including suspended sub-divisional magistrate  Tirath Pal, former land consolidation officer Ganesh and farmer Om Prakash. The bail applications of the main accused in the NH 74 scam- DP Singh and others will be taken up for hearing in the first week of January. Read more posts… Saturday, 22 December 2018 | PNS | Nainital

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