Chhattisgarh minister who 'acquired' land in wife's name guilty of fraud: Congress

Party wants registration of criminal offence in connection with the acquisition of land

State Congress president Deepak Baij (photo: @DeepakBaijINC/X)
State Congress president Deepak Baij (photo: @DeepakBaijINC/X)


The Opposition Congress has demanded the registration of a criminal offence in connection with purchase of a land in the name of Chhattisgarh minister Brijmohan Agrawal's wife in Mahasamund district after a local court nullified the sale deed recently.

When contacted, the minister, who is also the BJP candidate from Raipur Lok Sabha seat, declined to comment.

Citing the court order, state Congress president Deepak Baij on Sunday claimed Agrawal allegedly fraudulently acquired the property, belonging to the state water resources department, in the name of his wife and built a resort there.

The land is located in Jalki village under Tumgaon tehsil near Sirpur, a historical Buddhist site.

In its order dated 23 April, the additional district and sessions judge (I) Mahasamund quashed the sale deed of the land in question. As per the order, six villagers donated 4.124 hectares of land in Jalki village to the water resources department in 1994 as part of a daanpatra (donation for public use) in erstwhile Madhya Pradesh for the construction of a reservoir.

However, the land was never used for the intended purpose. Though it was acquired by the water resources department, its possession was not changed in the revenue records, and its ownership remained in the name of donors, the court said.

In 2009, original owners Vishnu Sahu and two others sold this land to Sarita Agrawal, wife of Brijmohan Agrawal, a native of Ramsagar Para (Raipur).

The court in its order declared the registration of the land purchase null and void since the beginning (2009 when the land was purchased) and directed the buyer to hand over the possession of land to the plaintiff (water resources division, Mahasamund).

The water resources department had moved the court challenging the 2009 purchase.

"(Brijmohan) Agrawal was then a minister and he was fully aware that the land located around his then under-construction resort was donated to the water resources department," Baij claimed.

The Congress leader demanded registration of a case for forgery against the buyer and seller of the land. After the land deal came to light in 2017, the Congress had demanded a high-level probe.

Agrawal, who was a minister in the then BJP government also, had in the past refuted the charges of wrongdoing and termed the allegations as politically motivated.

Agrawal had said he bought the land from the farmer based on the revenue record as per the rules. He mentioned the property registered in the name of his wife in his election affidavit (during the 2013 Assembly polls).

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