{Divya Gram panchayat Nurmahal}/Plea on status/ Panchayat has no revenue estate, only 27 houses: Sessions judge in report to HC - Hindustan Times
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{Divya Gram panchayat Nurmahal}/Plea on status/ Panchayat has no revenue estate, only 27 houses: Sessions judge in report to HC

ByGagandeep Jassowal
Oct 26, 2021 09:01 PM IST

According a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court, the Divya Gram Panchayat in Nurmahal is fake and formed only to siphon off funds development funds

Jalandhar A district and sessions judge’s fact-finding inquiry into the controversial Divya Gram Panchayat in Nurmahal block of Jalandhar district has found that it does not have any revenue estate of its own. The panchayat is associated with the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) whose head Ashutosh Maharaj has been declared clinically dead, but his body continues to be preserved inside a freezer in Nurmahal since 2014.

The Divya Gram Panchayat in Nurmahal falls within the revenue estates of Uppal Jagir and Uppal Khalsa villages, the fact-finding inquiry notes. (HT Photo)
The Divya Gram Panchayat in Nurmahal falls within the revenue estates of Uppal Jagir and Uppal Khalsa villages, the fact-finding inquiry notes. (HT Photo)

The Punjab and Haryana high court had ordered the inquiry on October 6, after a plea from one Puran Singh, alleging that Divya Gram, a fake gram panchayat, had been formed only to siphon off funds that the 14th Finance Commission, the local area development fund and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) provide.

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The judge Rupinderjit Chahal adds in her report that the Divya Gram Panchayat falls within the revenue estates of Uppal Jagir and Uppal Khalsa villages. The report underlined that no family is permanently residing in three of five wards of the panchayat, which has 27 constructed houses under it.

Judge Chahal visited all wards of the gram panchayat, along with officials, to check for permanent residents, adding that the panchayat came into existence in 2013, while the sarpanch and the member panchayats were elected the same year.

During inspection, it was found that no family was permanently residing in ward number 1. Their accommodation had been allotted free of cost by the DJJS. Ward number 2 was divided into two blocks with 61 and 30 rooms, for males and females, respectively. The occupants were neither owners of rooms nor they were relatives by blood. Divya Gram sarpanch Rajwinder Kaur was residing in room number 10 here. In ward number 3, a ‘Peeli Kothi’ owned by Mohinder Singh has been left at the disposal of DJJS, the report adds, listing key details of all the wards.

Advocate Baltej Singh Sidhu, the petitioner’s counsel, said the court had fixed the next hearing on October 28.

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